"I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)
I recently saw the story of a fifteen year old girl who ran away from home. She had crossed the state line and had been gone a couple of days when she realized she hated being alone and decided to return. She had been hitchhiking and at one point had met up with two others who were also thumbing for a ride. At this point a van with an older man pulled up. Although the vehicle appeared to be empty, he said he only had room for one and offered a ride to the teenager. Those with her warned her not to accept his offer, but she was so ready to get back home that she ignored their advice thinking that the man looked like a kindly grandfather.
After falling asleep for short time, the girl woke and noticed that the signage was wrong. The man was not going in the direction he promised. When she asked him about it, he told her he had taken an alternate route. She became leery and decided she needed to get away. When the van pulled over for a short stop, she got out and bent over to tie her shoe so she could run away. However, the "kindly grandfather" hit her in the head with a sledge hammer. When she came to she found that she was tied up. I won't go into all that happened in the van except to say that she was begging to be set free. Finally, he pulled over, and said to her, "Okay, I'll set you free." Then he took an axe, chopped off both of her arms and threw her over a cliff.
Thankfully, this isn't the end of the story. Somehow this young lady was smart enough to stick what was left of her arms down in the dirt to help stop the bleeding. She then found the strength to climb back up the thirty foot cliff to the highway where she could get help. A newlywed couple found her, called for help, and a helicopter took her to the hospital.
Why would I choose this story? Because she knew that she could not have survived alone. Although she encountered evil and endured the unthinkable, she credited the Lord for giving her aid. As in today's verse, she lifted her eyes to the top of the hill before her and knew that without arms, the only way she could get to the highway was if she had His help. And He was there to cheer her on, to give her the boost she needed to get where she could be rescued.
We have an ever-present enemy that works hard to dissuade us from believing that our Savior truly cares what happens to us. He will lie. He will whisper in our ears that if God truly cared then bad things wouldn't happen to us. But that isn't true. Horrible things still happen because of sin and because He gave us free will. That doesn't mean the He doesn't love us. That means we all need the saving blood of Jesus.
I know that I am writing what will be read by many who have encountered tragedy. I am so sorry for what you have had to overcome. I pray that you did, you do and you will turn to the Lord for strength and comfort. His hands are mighty and His promises are true.
The young lady is now grown, married and has children. Though she wears prosthetics on both arms, she was not defeated. She now shares her story with young people to encourage them to find another way through their problems other than running away. God took the tragedy of her life and allowed it to bloom into a ministry. And she is thankful. God bless.