Me? Dragging? That’s not my usual state. Most days, I can talk myself off a cliff, lift myself up, move from feeling down by turning my back on trouble and turning my heart to God.
But a couple of weeks ago, I was dragging, needing help and knowing it. Lying in bed, I told my churning mind to shut down the noise and stop the infernal clatter. Finally, then, I could hear God’s Spirit whisper, I am your Lifter.
He’s the same Lifter we praised here a few weeks ago when another (in)courage writer, Jennifer Ueckert, shared a gorgeous story about the “Lenten rose” plant, whose flower heads look down — unless they’re lifted up. It was a lovely and robust lesson, sending me back to Psalm 3:3, the verse about God lifting our heads. I couldn’t stop noodling over it, hoping perhaps to discover in it one more nugget of godly help.
So, I looked again at that old psalm and reflected on David writing it — his life in shambles and his rebellious son Absalom scheming to take him down with a mutiny army. Yep, family drama. As David cried, “I have so many foes, Lord!” scoffers doubted that God would bother to deliver him. David’s reply?
But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3 (ESV)
This is faith talk. Real deal. (Just as Jennifer said.) So, David points us to another thing God’s lifting accomplishes: it puts our eyes on higher ground. Lifted up, we turn our eyes from things lower than His glory: popularity, praise from people, personal achievements, or other earthly barometers.
David, as king, could have such things, but he learned to focus, however, on the true Lifter. Feeling low, David looked to the Lord for a pickup that actually worked.
For me, I’ve started turning off the news more times than not, spending time, instead, looking to the presence of our shielding, glorious, lifting God.
Is that escapism? Or am I, like David, giving myself more time to look to God for hope? To say, God, You’re lifting me high — far above the confusion, drama, drudgery, worry, lies, and insults I sometimes face. He lifts my eyes not to ignore trials but to get closer to Him because He can handle them.
With our eyes lifted up, our trials become smaller. We can see our way more clearly — to see God, His might and glory, and also to see ourselves. We’re not the failures we call ourselves nor are we “less than” others as we often but wrongly believe.
Instead, when our eyes are lifted high by Him, we gain a new perspective. We see His sovereignty, not our nagging problems. All the stuff churning below us stays down there — still churning but not dragging us back down because we see the Conqueror defeating it.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills,” God’s people sang as they traveled up the dangerous, twisty road to Jerusalem. Bandits awaited, but the pilgrims focused on God, singing, “My help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV).
And after His resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene to tell the brothers, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17 NIV). Then, she rushed to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”
When He lifts us, we too can see Him as He is — our shield and mighty glory. Is that view worth it for Jennifer and I both to rejoice here over the same Scripture within a few weeks of each other?
It is, for this reason: He is rejoicing, in turn, over us — singing over our joy, loving us for seeing that, lifted by Him, we are shielded week after amazing week. Then, what does this look this? His great glory.Leave a Comment