Right here, all the time.

It was obviously a special date. He wore khakis and a dress shirt; she was in a dress well accessorized with jewelry, makeup, and heels. Hand in hand, they walked down the sidewalk toward me… both of them oblivious to the other, since each was lost in animated conversation on their cell phone. But holding hands, at least! What a romantic date, I thought to myself (somewhat sarcastically, I admit).

This morning, that memory from years ago popped up in my prayers. Odd thing to remember during prayer, right? On my morning walk, I’d started as I often do these days, with Psalm 63, O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you…

About that time, the image of the cell-phone date popped into my head…and I see that I’m the oblivious one walking along. Yes, I’m the one wanting to hold hands and forge a relationship with my God; but most of the time, I’m distracted by and feel compelled to answer everything else that comes along and clamors for my attention. And I forget that the One I say I thirst for, long for, and love above all else … is right there with me all the time. I forget.

The book of Psalms is a favorite for many people, and I believe it’s because those writers knew all about the ups and downs, triumphs and failures, of our walk with God.  The entire range of our pilgrimage experience is included in that book: rebellious sin and the misery that follows; helplessness in the face of enemies; fear; unspeakable awe in the presence of the Almighty; exultation in His goodness and power; disappointment and discouragement; absolute trust in God’s care; anger at circumstances. The list goes on and on.

Yet in everything, everywhere, the psalmist says in Psalm 139, God holds our hands. He is there. He never leaves us. No matter where we go, what we do,

… even there Your hand will guide me, and Your strength will support me.

I want to walk today, every day, much more aware that He is right here with me, holding my hand. All the time.

 

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