Posted by: Jo | November 13, 2015

Walk With Heads Held High

“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high”

(Leviticus 26:13)

image One of my granddaughters is a member of a university women’s soccer team and this last weekend her team was playing an important game in an out-of-Province competition and they won. I was telling one of my friends about the win and she was very impressed as now they proceed to the next level and she said to me. “They can certainly hold their heads up high now!” Her comment made me think about all the meanings behind that phrase and I remembered hearing it in my childhood as I heard my parents discussing a friend who had gone through some tough times, “Now he doesn’t need to be ashamed, he can hold his head high.”

Body language does speak loudly and shame can be shown clearly by downcast eyes and head bent low. Guilt, sorrow, depression, low self esteem, can have the same effect as if something heavy is actually hanging around one’s neck and the effort of straining to look for any joy, proves too difficult. The psalmists were certainly brave enough to admit how they could be devastated by raging emotions;

“Why are you downcast, O, my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5)

But it as if the writer suddenly comes to his senses and tells himself;

“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)

He ends the Psalm by repeating those words to remind himself to keep the reason for hope firmly embedded in his mind. A good lesson for all of us.

David also has some good advice when we are downcast by whatever causes our heads to droop;

“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15)

image These wise words tell us not to focus on that snare, whatever is trapping us in despair, but to look away, don’t allow the problem to entangle us, look beyond it and look to the Lord.

Paul gives a very good description of that low feeling that can overtake any of us.

“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn- conflicts on the outside, fears within.” (2 Corinthians 7:5)

But Paul remembers his, and our source of all comfort, and realises it was God who comforted them all by sending someone to stand in for him.

“But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” (2 Corinthians 7:6)

The God of all comfort is always standing by ready to take away any of those ugly feelings that can overtake us and trap us in that snare that keeps our heads down low, but we need to hold up our heads high and remember we are his children and he has promised to free us from what hinders us to live the abundant life.

imageThe old, old hymn still holds a wonderful message for us all;

Turn you eyes on Jesus

Look full in his wonderful face

And the things on earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace.


  1. I read your lovely words just after I had heard of the tragic events in Paris and it reminded me that we must not despair. Goodness will prevail in the end. Revenge is not the answer. Trust in God is. Thank you, Jo.


  2. As always Jo, a good message to take us through the week. Thank you.


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