Head for the Hills

How many times have you said or heard another person say, “We better head for the hills?”  I know I have used it on occasion at different times sometimes jokingly and sometimes seriously.  Its dictionary definition reads: ” To move to higher ground, as in preparation for or response to a natural disaster.”  So, if the water is starting to rise in a flood, you might want to get to higher ground.  But often we use it metaphorically when we are facing a trial of some type in our lives.  If people head for the hills, they run away from trouble.

Life is full of moments in which we want to head to the hills.  Life can suddenly turn upside down, the waters of anxiety can rise, and we can feel overwhelmed.  So, to avoid disaster we seek out something or someone for help.  Where do we escape to when life is swelling up around us like a flooded riverbank?  In Psalm 121, the psalmist considers his options while facing a difficult time.  He is ready to head to the hills, but where will his help come from.  In verses 1 and 2 we read, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  The psalmist realized that help was needed so he looked to the hills.

In our lives, when we are faced with a struggle or difficulty, we all look to the hills.  The question is what is my hill and who is my help?  The psalmist confesses that his help comes from the Lord.  However, we don’t always turn their first.  We may head to the hills and turn to some vice to help ease our fear.  We may head to the hills and withdraw unto ourselves and cut ourselves off from everyone else.  We may head to the hills, become angry, and take it out on someone else.  We may head to the hills and lose ourselves in despair.  We all face these temptations when we are in trouble.

As people of faith, we must remind ourselves that ultimately our help comes from the Lord.  When we feel as though we need to head to the hills, we must remember that God will be there with us as our rock and our refuge.  We remember the words of the old gospel song, The Old Rugged Cross, when it states, “On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross.”  As Christians, the cross is our refuge and help.  In the cross, God stepped into the mess of our lives with a message of divine presence and deliverance.  Though life may rage against us at times, the cross is a constant reminder of God’s presence.  We need not fear the deepest valleys because our help comes from the Lord of the Hill.

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Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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