Goodness and mercy at my heels.

March 24, 2011

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life …”
(Psalm 23:6a)

Just as when great princes go abroad they must not go unattended, so it is with the believer.  Goodness and mercy follow him always — the black days as well as the bright days, the days of fasting as well as the days of feasting, the dreary days of winter as well as the bright days of summer.
(C.H. Spurgeon)

The past couple weeks were stressful.  I couldn’t escape heart anguish and fears even in sleep, as I’d have recurring nightmares of being hunted, kidnapped, attacked.  But not only me; loved ones, too.  In sleep and in life, I felt the relentless pursuit of evil, her quivers full of bitter suffering.  And keeping in stride with her, condemnation.  Some days, I wished I could die to stop running.  To escape them.

But the psalmist — not my feelings — is right.  He is right. Circumstances haven’t changed, but every time I fall in weakness and expect to be overtaken by evil and condemnation, I turn around and find that goodness and mercy have overtaken me instead.  God’s goodness instead of man’s evils and the sufferings they produce.  God’s mercy instead of condemnation for my sin.  And the other way around, too.  God’s goodness instead of the evil still residing within me.  God’s mercy instead of justice toward those who embrace Jesus.

To be sure, I haven’t seen the fulfillment of all these things in my present circumstances; but His moment-to-moment grace and encouragements whisper of His commitment to His promises.  Sometimes, they even shout.  Timely phone calls.  Heartening words from a friend.  Scripture coming to mind at just the right moment.  Faithful prayers.  Hearing another pleading with God for those I love.  Exhortations.  Supernatural strength to persevere when I’m spent (could only come from Him).

And tonight, for a change, I can’t sleep for marveling at His goodness toward me.  I’m overwhelmed.  If my roommates weren’t sleeping, I think I’d pound away on my out-of-tune guitar and sing, “Hallelujah, goodness and mercy at my heels!  God is good, God is good!”

But maybe it’s a good thing they’re sleeping.  Maybe He hears the song anyway.  Maybe I should go to sleep now.

God is good.

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4 Responses to “Goodness and mercy at my heels.”

  1. David Says:

    Did you know that our gracious Shepherd has four sheepdogs to watch over his flock?
    Light and Truth to go before us (Ps 43:3) – and Goodness & Mercy to follow us (Ps 23:6)
    May the Lord bless comfort & strengthen you, as per Ps 43:5 & Ps 4:8

  2. Michael Chung Says:

    Amen sister! I’m praying for you

  3. bom amigo Says:

    And sweet is that end to where His faithful goodness and mercy pursue us: “…and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (6b)

  4. tia Says:

    david, i JUST read a similar quote by sinclair ferguson the other day:
    “God has two sheepdogs: Goodness and Mercy (Ps 23:6). He sends them to us from His throne of grace; sometimes to bark at us, to badger us; sometimes to woo us by persuading us that His will is good and perfect for our lives.” 😀

    mc, brotha for life.

    ba, can’t wait :]


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