Note: I’m continuing to post selected articles from The p Gazette Chronicles, focusing on those that fall into the “Faith” category (why? because I need the reminders). This one originally showed up in January, 2007.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. [Psalm 139:1-5 (NIV)]
I think I’ve mentioned before that when I was a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was to convert a big appliance box into a tank. You could knock out the ends, get inside, and roll the cardboard “machine” through vacant lots with great abandon, completely protected from the various stickery flora and fauna that inhabited those environs. Of course, you couldn’t see where you were going, but you could have fun getting there.
Those memories came to mind this morning in Sunday School as we dwelt on Psalm 139 as a part of our annual “Sanctity of Life Day” emphasis. Psalm 139 is often chosen for this occasion because it’s one of the best reminders of how special each of us is to our Creator, and given that He values life so highly, perhaps we also should take it a little less lightly.
Anyway, as I pondered verse 5 — I like the New American Standard translation even better: You have enclosed me behind and before… — it occurred to me that God’s provision is kind of like that cardboard tank…only more so. His protection is absolute, completely enveloping, more like a bubble that is impervious to the worst the world can send our way.
Sure, we still get hurt, but that’s not the point. The important thing to remember is that we’re “treasures in earthen vessels,” and God will not lose us; we cannot be destroyed by this world, thanks to His bubble of love and grace.