They are higher. The land around them lower. They have a slope. Some gentle, others steep. They do not get as much attention as mountains. Like mountains, they can be covered in snow. We ski on mountains, we ski on these too.
Lift your eyes to the hills. Hills are as picturesque as mountains. Hills cover the earth. In prairies, in forests, in deserts. There are tree covered hills, some are raised bumps of barren sand, some are shielded with tall waving prairie grass. We are never far from hills, any point on earth.
Hills contain terrestrial appeal. Around the world hills have seized the attention, and hearts of people. Hills have historic significance. Bunker Hill, Capital Hill, the San Juan Hills, and the Seven Hills of Rome are part of this group. Hills capture the soul with their beauty. Native people were drawn to the silent majesty of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Sand Hills of Nebraska continue to lure our eyes with their silent grand vistas. Human eyes and hearts are drawn to the hills.
Lift your eyes to the hills. The hills in these photos are found on the eastern edge of the Red River Valley in Minnesota. These hills are covered with maple, basswood, ironwood, burr oak, birch, ash and poplar trees. Preserved as public land, these hills are part of over 10,000 acres of higher land that slopes to surrounding lower land. The bottoms of many hills in this state-owned land have water. These forest hills serve as giant rain gutters that drain into the bodies of water below them. Water is filtered clean by roots, leaf litter and a slow downhill percolation.
Raise your eyes to the hills. Dig into these hills and you find what earth is made of. The common components consist of sand, silt, and clay of various particle sizes. Besides these there are rocks, rock fragments, roots, live organisms, air, and water. To the average human eye, they appear haphazard, unplanned, even chaotic. A closer prolonged examination reveals structure, organization and design. The hills are an earth form system calculated to support life.
Artifacts indicate that people lived in these hills as long ago as 6,000 years. Those early people sought the food, shelter, heat, and water found on and in these hills. Both prairie and forest dwelling people found life-giving provisions in these hills. These hills gave life then and give it now. Biologists have recorded 150 different bird species live and nest in these hills. Hills such as these contain the exact balance of materials to support plants, animals, birds, and creatures with no internal skeleton. 50 different animal species find the habitat basics required for them to live in these hills. At least 25 different amphibians and reptiles live in and around the water beneath these hills. There is no accurate count of the number of invertebrate species found on the hills, and in the land and water below them. Butterflies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps and countless water invertebrates live and thrive in these hills.
Lift your eyes to the hills. Long ago a man named David was in one of life’s extreme difficulties. He had come to the end of himself. His strength, his talent, his wisdom and ability, even his earthly wealth were not enough to rescue him from the severe trials he faced. In this context, David wrote these words, I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
We are like David, the shepherd and king. Each of us faces trials. Some are small and daily, things of life. Then there come times when trouble overwhelms us. We are drowning, our hope is shredded. We are at the end. What is left? A wonderful solution: Lift your eyes to the hills. Charles Spurgeon, an English Baptist preacher, explained hills, he said the “hills” are: The purposes of God; the divine attributes; the immutable promises; the covenant, ordered in all things and sure; the providence, predestination, and proved faithfulness of the Lord—these are the hills to which we must lift up our eyes, for from these our help must come.
Lift your eyes to God, the Maker of the hills. Lift your eyes to His eternal love, power, wisdom, and presence. Seek His promises. Remind yourself that every promise God has made is true and comes to pass. Remember God is perfectly faithful. He is true, His Word exact. He is entirely dependable and reliable. He has promised to dedicate His love to you and I. Think about these words. He is our HELP.
He is the hill Architect, and He is the Architect of everlasting help. May the beautiful hills of the earth remind you of your Creator’s constant help. Today, everyday; in health and well-being, in severe trial and pain; there is always hope. There is always help. Lift your eyes to the hills. Our help comes from the Lord!