By Mike Rohde
The golden sun lifted over the cold Atlantic as I flew eastbound toward Germany. It was 1993, and I was leaving the safety of the United States for the very first time.
One year before, at church, I’d met Martin. He was a German engineering student from the Black Forest, who was working in Milwaukee on a college practical term at a local factory. As the year unfolded, we became good friends, spending time exploring Milwaukee. Now it was my turn to visit Germany.
While I had built just enough confidence to travel to Europe, I have to admit I was afraid. I navigated passport controls, a German commuter train, and two weeks in a faraway country.
In the midst of fear, David’s words from Psalm 121 gave me comfort:
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep. God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you – Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” (The Message)
Since that first trip, I've traveled many thousands of miles—I’m a seasoned international traveler now. Still, the words of Psalm 121 echo in my heart each time I fly off to explore a new place.
The LORD has guarded me every step of the way. He has made me an explorer of His world, with many opportunities to share His love with others.
I don’t rely on mountains or oceans for my strength—I lean on the One who created them with a single command.
The LORD watches over me.
I will not fear as He guides and protects me.
He guards me always.