Psalm 139.5 | אָח֣וֹר וָקֶ֣דֶם צַרְתָּ֑נִי וַתָּ֖שֶׁת עָלַ֣י כַּפֶּֽכָה׃
“Behind and in front, you’ve enclosed me, and put your hand upon me.”
We can do this. We’re moving forwards and I’m not afraid.
Sometimes I dig my heels in, but you move me onward anyway.
You lead me – you’re excited and you know the way through – there’s so much you want to show me.
You’re who I see, and want to see, but sometimes I wish you’d just tell me where we’re going too.
You’ve got my back – you’re sensible, responsible, secure – it’s comforting.
You hem me in, I can’t escape; there is no escaping life, but at least I can live it with you.
I know that whatever happens you’re there and your palm on me tells me that you won’t abandon me.
I won’t be alone. I won’t be lost. Always seeking you and your presence. At least not lost forever.
Behind and in front.
I oscillate. But you are everywhere I turn.
I wrote this piece a while ago. Someone shared the verse with me and I wanted to paint it – the above image was actually my digital sketch for the piece, which still sits unfinished in oils in a sketchbook somewhere. But as I read and re-read the verse, translated and re-translated, I started to realise how often I take God’s leading as moving me against my will. How often I begrudge not knowing where it’s all headed; having to make decisions without all the answers. Sometimes I feel like life is rolling on and on in cycles, trapping me, and I rest this on God too. And sometimes, even though I know God will never abandon or forsake me, I do feel lost. But I have always been found.
I share this because we all oscillate between thinking “good” things and “bad” things. But even as I think in confusing ways, the resounding sense that God makes in my life is hope. The pitch that cuts through all the confusion is one that waits and knows that God brings everything to flower and produce fruit in its time. God’s love never fails and nothing can make it fail in me.