Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Today I returned to an old favorite — Psalm 23. If you haven’t read it in a while, it is chock full of encouragement and hope. A great book – a short daily read – that I would recommend is Max Lucado’s Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms. It’s amazing!
As I was rereading this passage this morning, it struck me how David stresses that goodness and mercy (love) follow me. Follow me? God’s goodness and mercy? Well, depending on your personal theology of God’s whereabouts, this can crash someone’s party if all they think is that God’s dictating from some throne.
This suggests one, if not two things. First, as implied, this means that God’s not just ruling like we see of the images of Pharaoh. He is not the unapproachable conductor of all things. On the contrary, He is personal, relational, compassionate, with an abundance of grace and love beyond our wildest dreams. Which leads me to the second. While God is clearly “seated” on the throne, He, through the Holy Spirit, pursues me! Pursues! David understands this in his remembrance of God’s presence through the guarantee of God’s goodness and mercy following me every day. It reminds me somewhat of the old 90’s episodes of Dukes of Hazard when the “good ‘ole boys” were in “hot pursuit.” They couldn’t seem to cut a break! I, too, am in “hot pursuit” by my Savior — every day! And trailing and flanking that pursuit is Goodness and Mercy!
But even in the midst of great news, where goodness seems so obvious, it’s possible for circumstances scratched by the sharp nails of darkness to overshadow our hearts and minds with pittance. Its unfortunate that such be robbed from our lives, but God still moves! He still pursues, not sitting and ruling from a throne, but running and guarding, protecting and whispering in our ears at every turn. Whispering the Truth of His goodness and His mercy that stands firm against the lies of darkness, the thief in the night, and fills me with joy unspeakable, full of His glory! All this in spite of my circumstances. Amen!!
Lord Jesus, I’m reminded of my first day of school. I was so scared, worried. I didn’t like kindergarten and I wasn’t going to stay. I remember planning my escape down to the very minute for when I’d make a dash. Mrs. Mapstone was faster than she appeared as I remember she was a bit older than me — much older! Remember how I made it out the door and just beyond the ditch before she caught me? I was so not happy about that! But as much as I was frightened to be at school, I think the bus was even worse. I remember looking back over my shoulder more than once to see if mom was still there. She was. You’re pursuing me, right? Life’s bus ride and classroom are filled with so many things. Some I know, most I don’t. I’m looking back, if that’s o.k., to see your Goodness and Mercy! I see them . . .!