Devotional Reading from the Common Daily Lectionary: (an evening reading) Psalm 139
Text: Where can I go from Your Spirit or where can a flee from Your Presence? (v. 7)
The 139th Psalm is my favorite Psalm, bar none. I like it so much because it marvels at God’s Providential Care of us. There is nowhere that we can hide from the Presence of God. God’s knowledge of us begins even before we are born; For it was You who formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. … My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In Your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.
The Psalmist does not claim that God causes or lets things happen. Bad things do happen because we live in a broken world, a world filled with selfishness and greed. Disappointment is a frequent visitor in our lives. Yet, while God neither causes nor lets bad things happen, God is right there with us when they do happen.
A grieving parent once asked me “Where is God when I’m hurting?” I thought about that question for a long time before I was ready to answer. My response may have been woefully inadequate but I said that God is “right there, on the Cross of Jesus.” We cannot keep our children from pain, but we can suffer with them, and comfort them and love them even in the midst of great pain. That’s what God does, too.
Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels well with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen. (from The Book of Common Prayer, compline service)