"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever." (Psalm 121)
From 1950 to 1963 I lived in the “Almost Heaven” in the great state of West Virginia. My parents moved us here in 1963 and I came along grudgingly. My dad asked me before we moved how I felt about moving to Florida. Not knowing then what Florida was like, and not really caring to find out, I said I didn’t want to leave West Virginia.
I grew up in a farm town and often went out to some friends who owned and worked a farm. I was just a kid, oh a few years back, and spent most my time running around the fields and playing in the woods. West Virginia was a mountainous county and there one was either climbing up or down a hillside. A straight piece of roadway just might be the driveway we parked our car in. The roads in West Virginia were always filled with hills and curves.
We always had four seasons there. There was what seemed hot to me the summer, the breezy fall with the brilliant changing colors of the leaves, the cold and sometimes snowy winter, and the best time of the year spring. Oh I loved to see the new growth of leaves budding out on the trees, the flowers blooming in the garden, and fun times skinny dipping in the crisp waters of the Greenbrier River. Once in a while, I would drop a line into Lake Bluestone just before the dam to try and catch one of those big ole catfish I had always heard about. But the best time of the week is when dad would take us all to the DQ for a Banana Split.
We left all that behind for Florida and I will admit Florida is a nice place if you like flat ground and long summers and short winters. As I grew older here in Florida I learned that Florida has mountains too. Actually, every place has mountains in this old world is a troublesome place when you get out on your own. The mountains were not of earth but of obstacles that come into our lives. But that is the way this world is. We are either coming out of a storm or entering into a storm.
I have found in my life that I am still always looking up to the mountains. Once it was the beautiful mountains of West Virginia but now it is the not so pretty difficulties that life throws in the path. I have also found that the greatest and surest help comes from the Lord. He is in control and willing and able to carry the burdens of life and make all things work for good for those who love and trust Him. (Romans 8:28)
Thomas N Kirkpatrick
Pleasant Manor, March 29, 2014