"I will lift my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help"

Today on my bike ride I found myself seeing hills with a new perspective. Probably it was King George III’s fault. Just before lunch I’d been reading a book to my young children about the ruler of England during America’s War for Independence. King George believed so strongly in order and utility that he didn’t like mountains, calling them, “Useless things.”

Our part of Monroe County is particularly hilly and we have some grand vistas that make our road a top bicycling route for many. Too often I just view the hills for the exhilaration they bring going down, or the cardiovascular workout on the way up. (Visually break it up into thirds, I’ve been told. This helps.) Or sometimes I try to mentally superimpose a topographic map on the terrain. But today I started actually observing the hills themselves, not the just the vistas, appreciating the gentle swells and dips, the rugged drops and rises. With the trees bare and fields harvested it is easier to look off and see the land profiles. What amazing beauty and power in those hills! Isaac Watt’s great hymn, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past” came to mind, so I sang as I rode – one of the great benefits of riding in the country.

“Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same.”

Based on Psalm 90, Watts wrote this hymn in 1719 (twenty years before King George would be born.)

Psalm 90:1, 2 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (NAS95)

I love our southern Indiana hills. We’ve named the largest hill on our farm “Majestic Mountain”, and it is a favorite place for many in our family. This summer we all fell in love with some even grander hills, the Teton Mountains in Wyoming. What an awesome display of God’s creation! What a great reminder of God’s eternal existence, while our hills and mountains are just temporary.


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