Dwell on this for a minute:
God never abandons anyone on whom He has set His love; nor does Christ, the good shepherd, ever lose track of His sheep.
This one-sentence quote from J. I. Packer brings to mind so many precious promises and innumerable truths that are stated over and over again in the Bible.
His quote makes me think of promises such as the fact that as God's children, He will never abandon us. He will watch over us and care for us. He will never take His love, guidance, care, or protection away. He will continue the good work He has started in us.
It brings to mind promises like the fact that our God is always near, ever present, and always hears our cries. He quiets our fears and sooths our worries - and in exchange for both, gives us a peace that surpasses understanding. It reminds me of His promise that He has a plan for our lives, a plan that is for our good and His glory. I think of leaning not unto our own understanding but acknowledging the LORD in all we do so that He can fulfill yet another of His promises - that being to direct our paths and establish our very thoughts!
It is no wonder the LORD reminds us to be still and know that He is God who reigns over heaven and earth. He is our God and He is with us. His promises to us are many and precious. Let us live by and stand upon them!
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:9-10
It doesn't matter where I am, what I am doing, what is happening, or what scrape I've gotten myself into. He is there! When I think He can't hear me or that maybe He isn't listening, He is there! When all I see ahead is confusion and question marks, He is there!
He promises to never leave me. He promises to always hear. He promises to lead and guide me. He promises to always be there. He will be there in the good times, He will be there in the hard. He will be there through every trial that rolls across my sky. He will never forsake me, never will He leave. He will always be there.
He is all I've ever wanted, He is all I'll ever need. He is absolutely all and everything to me. There is nowhere I can flee, nowhere I can hide. He will find and bring me close to Him and shine His light inside. He is with me for all of my days. No matter where, He will e even there.
I distinctly remember sitting on a cabin porch at my favorite summer camp years ago reflecting over the concept that when God feels far away, it isn't God that's moved, it's us. It's so easy to get caught up in the temporal, the stuff that doesn't even matter, isn't it? So easy to get our focus off of the LORD and onto the storm or even the fluffy nothings of life that distract us from what really matters.
In some ways I think I was wiser as a child. I inherently knew life was "taken care of" so trust came easy. But is that not how it should be now? Yes! Absolutely! There is no difference between life now and life when I was a child except the addition of several years. I had no doubt the LORD would use me then, so there should be no doubt now. I had no doubt He would lead me then, so there should be no doubt now! I knew God was active in my life then, so why should I dare doubt it now?
Oh, what forgiveness we must seek, what path we must be sure to tread. How we must safeguard ourselves from moving away from that relationship of trust and faith and love. Let us make it our chief object to walk with our hand in His. Let us make it our goal to renew our faith and ask Him to rekindle our zeal. Let us make it our focus to walk with increasingly greater trust and keep our eyes ever and only upon His face.
Oh this little verse! So often read with longing and a sigh in our hearts. Not often is it read with recognition and an adopted understanding of its importance. We all want this. To abide under the shadow of the LORD. To rest in safety and contentment. To be at peace in the midst of our hectic lives, in the midst of an increasingly hectic world. But often, a sigh after one quick read-through of this verse is as far as we get. Why?
Because if we want to abide under the shadow of the Almighty, we must dwell with Him. This is not some quick in-and-out relationship; no drive-thru mentality, here. This is living with, abiding with, dwelling with the LORD. This is every day relationship cultivated in intimate time spent with the LORD. This is time spent in the Word, time spent in prayer. It is a relationship and it takes work. No one will just "fall into" a pattern of cultivating a relationship with the LORD. Like any relationship, we have to work at it. Seek it. Ask that it be made the desire of our hearts. For only then will we abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Only when we dwell with Him. Dwell with the LORD and abide under His wings.