Saturday, June 9, 2012

In the Hiding

Psalm 139.11-12 calls to us today.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to You.

Our lives are cumulative experiments. Every day adds more variables to the equation. Sometimes we produce miraculous results of love, joy, peace, and all the other fine things God’s Spirit seeds into our beings. Then there are when everything blows up. We’re caked in ashes of fear, regret, shame, and resentment. We feel life’s darkness descend and, many times, we try to hide in its shadows. We’d rather not be seen. Still, God finds us in the hiding. And with infinite patience and compassion, God grants us a new day, another try, a fresh start.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beyond Our Horizons

We find comfort and confidence as we sit with today’s scripture, Psalm 139.9-10:

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me fast.

It’s just as the old tune says: God holds the whole world in hand. But it’s more than that. God resides beyond our horizons. The psalmist’s limited knowledge gives way to vast understanding of God’s help. He looks east, where the sun rises from nowhere, and grasps that God is there. He looks across the sea, where the sun drops from the sky, and sees God is also there. These are teetering places. He suspects—and has been told—that beyond the horizon is too far. He'll fall away into oblivion. Yet he witnesses what others refuse to believe: God is there. And so it is that whenever we teeter, we must never fear. When we can’t see beyond our horizons, God leads us back to safety. We can never slip into nothingness, because God holds us fast.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Highs and Lows

We’re sitting today with Psalm 139.8:

If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.

Though we often say God covers all time and space, we seldom consider what we’re saying. When life pushes us to extremes—when it’s altogether heavenly, when it’s a living hell—God remains abundantly present. At our very finest, we’ve not begun to scratch the surface of God’s immeasurable joy and goodness. At our very worst, we’ve not tapped out the enormity of God’s love and grace. God dwells in the mundane and the margins. And it’s often when life reaches its highest or lowest points that God becomes most vividly known to us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Never Lost

Today we open our hearts to Psalm 139.7:

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

The rebel in us hears this and presumes the psalmist is seeking, but can’t find, a place apart from God. Then the child in us hears, and finds, an irreplaceable truth. We are never lost. As far from God as we can possibly roam, God never tires of running to us. God’s Spirit enfolds us. God is ever present in our lives—even when we’ve vacated all sense of being, pride, and hope. No matter where we are, we are forever found.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Inexplicably Wonderful

Today we ponder—and rejoice in—Psalm 139.6:

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

From the first, God has known us. We are always on God’s mind. God sees where we are and where we’re going. God hears us and understands what we say, even when we can’t adequately say what we mean. God enfolds us in unfailing love that extinguishes stigmas of the past and eases uncertainties of the future. Such love is impossible to comprehend. It is inexplicably wonderful—and it need not be fully understood to become completely real in our lives.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Before and After

We invite God’s Spirit to speak to us today in Psalm 139.5:

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

We journey through life, trailed by imperfect pasts and facing uncertain futures. God hems us in, surrounding us in perfect love, freeing us of the guilt and shame that visited former failures, while also safeguarding us against future mistakes and disappointments. God’s hand is on our lives. It makes present and prominent the role of grace in everything we think and do.