S (Scripture): Psalm 23
You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live [a] in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.
[a] – or, “return to”
O (Observation): This text is an iconic one. Maybe not in the version of the Common English Bible, like I have posted here. The King James version is more likely well known, overall, but this version picks up on two central factors: “pursue” and “live / return to”.
God is all about allowing us the space to worry and fear, and yet God is still present. Not that God wants us to fear…God simply gets the fact that we are still broken as of yet.
And so, God does two things: God’s justice (or goodness) and mercy (or faithful love) don’t just follow us for the rest of our days, like a little puppy on a leash. No! God’s goodness and faithful love PURSUE us for the rest of our days. This is different than simply following.
And we don’t just live in the House of the Lord. The footnote reminds us that we will come and go in this life. And throughout our days, we will wander, but we will always have the Lord’s House to return to.
A (Application): So many times, our faith comes of the rails. We panic. Anxiety kicks in. And we my have a true mental health issue wrapped up in this. But I also believe that this passage today could be part of our response to the pressure and anxiety we place upon ourselves.
Typically, when a deadline looms or we have to get the house cleaned up, we quickly realize that it’s not going to get done by itself, or we may not be able to do the exact best job we have ever done.
We forget that God’s faithfulness is PURSUING us in the midst of our challenge. We forget that we can return not just to the Lord’s house (like a church), but we can simply return to the Lord’s dwelling / presence. For whether or not we are thinking about God, God is certainly thinking about us…
P (Prayer): Gracious God, forgive us, redeem us, pursue us! Help us to know if your presence. Amen.