SHINE Daily

My July Awakening

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines cabin fever as “extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for a prolonged time.”

Cabin fever is usually at its worst during the last few weeks of winter. Once the weather grows warmer we flee from our limited, cabin-bound experience and go out into the brighter, warmer, colorful world of spring and summer. No more staring at the four walls of our homes, huddled around a source of heat. We can now go outside and take in all of nature, brightening our outlook and curing ourselves of cabin fever.

In a way, cabin fever perfectly illustrates how isolated and confined our lives can be when we’re overwhelmed with life’s ups and downs. We feel trapped by our circumstances as pilgrims in this world, surrounded and confined by our worries and cares, limited in our outlook on the life Christ has given us.

Psalm 121:1-2 reads: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

In a way, this verse describes a kind of cure for spiritual cabin fever. Historians tell us Psalm 121 was most probably sung by Jewish pilgrims in ancient times as they travelled up to Jerusalem for one of the many feasts and celebrations which were a part of their faith. The Psalm opens with a way of dealing with their burdens, concerns and worries as they traveled; the problems that caused them to look downward at each step they took; and inward at their physical struggle, limiting their view of their life and destination.

The opening is first a heartfelt, self-motivated command to look upward lifting their gaze to the hills and mountains, monuments to the glory of God’s creation. While taking in the greatness and splendor of what God has done, an important question is asked: where does my help come from? With their perspective broadened, the answer to this question is immediate and certain: my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

As I make my way through this life, dealing with my day-to-day pilgrim journey to the New Jerusalem, I like to take advantage of July’s summer weather that draws me out of my wintery prison. Lifting my eyes to the glory of God’s creation that surrounds me, I’m reminded of the One from whom all our blessings flow. This never fails to lift my spirits and give me a new perspective on where I am and where I’m going.

Give it a try. Each morning make it a point to go outside, take your Bible with you, and pour over God’s promises and lessons while surrounded by His creation, and gain a renewed sense of His provision as the maker of heaven and earth.

Jeff Atherholt is 95.1 SHINE-FM's Creative Services Director, a dad of three girls, and a proud grandfather. Tip: if you're ever looking for Jeff in the SHINE-FM office, just listen for the whistling. We'd put his whistling talents up against the guy who whistled the Andy Griffith Show theme song any day!