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Beline Obeid
February 06, 2014
This past Sunday we were greeted this with much anticipated weather prognostication from Punxsutawney Phil as to how much longer winter will last.

Actually in this part of the country we have competing marmots who offer their predictions. Locally, we have Michigan’s official groundhog — “Woody the Woodchuck.” Groundhogs and woodchucks are the same animal.

Recently I learned Canada looks toward to at least three different predictions from Shubenacadie Sam (Nova Scotia), Wiarton Willie (South Bruce Peninsula) and Balzac Billy (Alberta, Canada). This clearly reveals many are mired in the middle of this record setting winter are hoping for some good news.

At another level I wonder if this doesn’t reveal our human desire to look for insight and help in all sorts of places. Maybe it’s that business edge; maybe it’s the proverbial leg up; maybe it’s the desire to have the inside information that drives us to look all over, even to groundhogs.

The people of Israel experienced this same challenge as they would traverse the country toward Jerusalem for worship on the highest of holy days. As they traveled the hills were filled with small shrines to the god of the hill, sun or moon, and purveyors of trinkets, envision an ancient rabbit’s foot, to ensure a safe journey. Yet, every time the people of faith made this journey they actively remembered the source of their help.

Psalm 121

 1) I lift up my eyes to the hills —

where does my help come from?

 2) My help comes from the LORD,

       the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3) He will not let your foot slip —

       he who watches over you will not slumber;

 4) indeed, he who watches over Israel

       will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5) The LORD watches over you —

       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

 6) the sun will not harm you by day,

       nor the moon by night.

 7) The LORD will keep you from all harm —

       he will watch over your life;

 8) the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

May we lift our eyes not toward Gobbler’s Knob or the home of any other groundhog. We lift our eyes to the Lord who watches over you, who protects you, who has redeemed you and who promises never to leave or forsake you.

Yours in Christ.

Rizer is the minister of Living Hope Evangelical Church.

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