Hounded by Heaven

GOODNESS_MERCYSometimes I live on the run.

On one hand, I can run myself ragged in the dogged pursuit of some prize that always eludes me.

On the other hand, I can run like mad trying to escape some peril that seems just about to overtake me.

But I never get any closer to what I’m pursuing or any farther away from what I’m fleeing. I just end up exhausted from the continual chase and the constant flight.

I’m telling you, it’s tiring. I mean, I can even run in my sleep.

When I came home yesterday, I was just about to collapse from my sustained pace. As I sat at the family table, the conversation took an unexpected turn. The kids started trying to recall the words of Psalm 23. As popular as that Psalm is, none of us remembered it completely, so we helped each other piece the six verses together in the proper order.

Slowly, some things began to dawn on me.

The  psalmist seemed to suggest that having the Lord as his shepherd meant he didn’t want for anything. And here I was, empty with wanting, and completely spent from chasing after what I lacked. The Shepherd was saying to me, “Sit down. Eat, drink, and rest.”

As for those footsteps behind me, and all that heavy breathing down my neck, the Shepherd directed me to look over my shoulder. I saw that it was the hounds of heaven who had been in hot pursuit. And now they were right on top of me.

Then I thought of King David. He was no stranger to trial and trouble. More than once he had to flee for his very life. Yet he assures us that, no matter how fast we run, God’s goodness will always run us down, and His mercy will always overtake us.

So, we had better get used to these tireless heavenly pursuers, because they’ll be hounding us for all of eternity.

6 thoughts on “Hounded by Heaven

  1. Oh, yes! A Tuesday post!! And such a good one … I’m embracing this reminder: ” … no matter how fast we run, God’s goodness will always run us down, and His mercy will always overtake us.”

  2. Dave, loved this. I find myself running too. I have to admit my first thought when I read, “Sometimes, I live on the run.” made me chuckle. My first thought was, “Only sometimes?”

    I often struggle with living on the run—from this activity to that appointment to this thing I’m just certain will satisfy. I’ve been really challenged lately to live in the moment. The only way I can do that is to be at rest, in that moment.

    BTW, I love that your family reads and talks about Scripture together!

    • A lot of my running is in my mind and in my spirit. I alternate between thinking that something’s just gotta happen and then thinking something just can’t happen. As you say, living in the moment, in awareness of God’s Presence, is the only way we can rest.
      As for family discussions, ironically, our conversation turned to Scripture memorization because it’s something we used to do as a family with some regularity. But it had been a while, so that’s why we were all struggling to remember one of the more familiar passages in all of Scripture.
      Thank you for your comments, Jeanne! May we both run less and rest more!

  3. “But I never get any closer to what I’m pursuing or any farther away from what I’m fleeing.” So true, so I think it’s time to rest. Your posts always offer food for thought.

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