In his book A Sweet and Bitter Providence, John Piper offers these thoughts about God’s providence and guidance: “Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. . . . God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.”

The Jews journeying to Jerusalem for the annual feasts (Deut. 16:16) had the assurance of knowing that the Lord was plotting their course and managing the winding and troubled roads for them. They expressed this assurance in Psalm 121, a pilgrim song. The question, “From whence comes my help?” did not express doubt but affirmation in the Lord who rules supreme (vv.1-2). Unlike a guard who sometimes slumbered, or the god Baal who needed to be rustled out of his stupor (1 Kings 18:27), the Lord was fully alert and secured the journey of His people with providential care (vv.3-4). The Lord, who rescued Israel, would continue to help, preserve, and walk with His people.

Life is a winding road with unknown perils and troubles, but we can be certain of God’s providence, security, and care.