“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. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:1–10, NIV 1984).
My Musings – You know when I climb out a window and wander off. This Sunday’s amusing reminds me of similar incident from son Joel’s early childhood. His friend Steven had spent the day at our house playing. Sometimes childhood boredom gives way to misguided creativity. Before long they had emptied a bean bag chair all over our family room floor. My wife Eileen could not see what was going on (she is blind), but sensed some mischief was about. She always had that sixth sense – still does, I cannot get away with anything. She soon had them putting the Styrofoam beans back (as best as they could), sent Steven home and sent Joel to his room until she said he could come out. We had nurses in the home at that time caring for oldest son Joshua, who was handicapped. Not long after the day nurse left, she returned asking if Eileen had let Joel out of his room. Of course the answer was no. “Well” she said, “I just saw his twin walking down the street towards Steven’s house.” He was only four at the time, but had managed to take the screen out of the window in his room and crawl out. Thank goodness we had a ranch style home. When I got home (we can all remember warnings we got from our moms – “just wait until your father gets home”) I did not know whether to punish him, laugh at him or be proud of him for figuring out how to do that. I think I managed all three, much to Eileen’s dismay.
Much to our Savior’s dismay, we also are prone to wander off on occasion. He is familiar with our ways, “[our] sinful nature. For [we] have the desire to do what is good, but [we] cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18, NIV 1984). While we can wander off the path, there is no where we can go “from [His] Spirit.” No where to “flee from His presence.” No where He will not be able to “guide [us]” back on the right path. No where that the grip of “[His] right hand will [be unable to] hold [us] fast.”
My Advice – Climbed out any windows lately? Wandered off the path. He knows where we are. He may even need to lay His hand of discipline on us to get our attention. Frightening and comforting at the same time. We may have a similar experience with our earthly fathers (or mothers). We wandered and they came looking. We were frightened of what might happen when the found us, but comforted by knowing they would never stop searching. Why wait. You know your way back.