You can listen to this week’s Devotional here
By Amy Ostwald
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from God,
who made heaven and earth.
God will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121, verses 1,2 & 8
On my October walk this day I see that they’ve finished demolishing a house down the street— “scraped,” it is called now. A giant maple tree with the finest rope swing of my childhood has completely disappeared. All that is left are memories of the family that once lived there: redheads with easy smiles who generously shared their yard’s treasure with the neighbors. With the demolition, these memories will undoubtedly fade.
So much has changed since my youth here, I muse. Most of the apple trees from the old orchards in our neighborhood have died, and our granddaddy cottonwood tree is now nothing but a stump. Down on Broadway, there is an empty lot where our community hospital once sat. Ben Franklin’s Five & Dime has been replaced with a cafe that sells coffee for 50 dimes.
I am filled with a sense of melancholy as I walk on. The brightly colored fall leaves are beautiful, but they are also a reminder that winter is coming. It will soon be cold, and the days shorter. A slight breeze comes, and the leaves fall like snow. All living things die. Everything changes in life, doesn’t it?
I come upon a gap in the tree canopy, and looking up I see the familiar outline of the foothills. The contour of these hills will not change — not in my lifetime, anyway. On this day, the sight brings me a deep comfort. It is no wonder that our Hebrew ancestors sang of lifting their eyes to the hills and recalling God’s steadfast presence. Taking in this view of the hills, I walk on— now able to experience the transient beauty of the fall season with gratitude.
When I lift my eyes to the hills, may I draw comfort and peace in turning to your everlasting presence. Amen