You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.
This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God!
I love camping. When I was about 4 my dad bought a used bread van and painstakingly converted it into a camper. Eventually he cut the roof off and made his own fiberglass top complete with windows and a bunk bed. We travelled to nearly every National Park in that little van.
I learned to appreciate the wonders of the natural world on those camping trips – gigantic snow-topped mountains, mile-deep canyons, bizarre and wonderful rock formations, incredible stinky geysers, hills covered with dinosaur bones, meteor craters, extinct volcanoes, powerful, raging waterfalls, views for miles and star-filled skies. Like Father Abraham, I stared and felt small and insignificant, yet also keenly aware of the presence of God.
Back then, I used to run along the trails and jump over rocks in the streams like a deer. I remember there were many times that I would run ahead too far or linger over a jack-in-the-pulpit or toadstool too long and end up separated from my parents. As one of my heroes said, “the woods are lovely, dark and deep,” but also pretty scary to be in alone when you’re a little kid! Of course, my parents were just around the bend, never even out of earshot. How comforting it was to realize I was never really alone or lost.
There have been many times as an adult that I’ve felt lost – sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally or spiritually. Lost is a scary place to be. How wonderful it is then to read Psalm 139 and find that we can NEVER be lost from God. He goes before us to lead us, and He follows to protect us. He knows everything about us and can put thoughts in our minds to inspire us and help us figure out how to get ‘un-lost.’ Even before we knew God, He knew us, and He charted a path for us to follow. His word is our compass pointing us to True north.
It IS too glorious and wonderful to believe! The God who created the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful Geyser, Delicate Arch, Niagara Falls and Devil’s Tower is the same God who is keeping watch over you. His hand of blessing is on your head. There may still be times when you FEEL lost, but like the 6-year-old me on a trail in the woods, your Father is just around the bend. He knows right where you are, and maybe He’s trying to teach you a lesson (perhaps about running off in the wrong direction, or waiting, or listening). He has wonderful things waiting for you. Personally, I hope that includes wieners and s’mores by the campfire with some songs and stories. You’re invited. And as the embers fly high into the night sky, let’s imagine they’re our praises to our truly Awesome God!