By Brooke Holt
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
For many years I was a runner. I ran for exercise; I ran with friends to build community; and I ran to escape the pain in my life. Running really does have the runner’s high as well as serving as a hobby that can distract one from the realities of life. While I don’t run anymore (except on the Pickleball court), I still struggle with the desire to escape pain, conflict, hurt, disappointment, and really anything that makes me uncomfortable. Sadly, that means sometimes I am running away from the Lord – from really listening to him, looking at him, and heeding the convictions of his Spirit.
Thankfully, no matter how far or fast I have run, God has always and will always be there behind, beside, and before me. Eugene Peterson translates verse 26 this way: “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life” (Psalm 23:6, The Message). What a comfort to know that though I am stubborn and can sometimes resist or run from God, he keeps pursuing me! God keeps running after me. God keeps running after you. His goodness and mercy are always right there behind, beside, and before us.
Throughout Psalm 23, David creates a picture of God’s love and care for his children while also modeling how to trust and receive this love and care of the Lord. The key is to follow the shepherd, to obey his instructions, to look to him in every trial and tribulation, and to enjoy his presence and abundant hospitality. Beyond these blessed assurances, God’s mercy and goodness keep following you through this life.
Because David knew these truths about the Lord, David was able to rest in the Lord, to receive his love and care, and to experience the joy and comfort of walking with the Lord each day of his life.
This psalm was not only for David but also for you. God is running after you ready to wrap his love around you. He wants to walk this journey of life with you, to provide for you, care for you, and lead you through this life and into his home to dwell with him forever.
Maybe it is time for you to put down your running shoes and enjoy being caught by the Lord!
Do you know that God chases after you, that he won’t let you go, that he pursues you with his steadfast love, grace, and mercy? You are that precious to him! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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