Monday, February 26

Monday, February 26   

Scripture: Psalm 139: 7-12

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
12     but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

Some thoughts:

     Why is it that we want to avoid being confronted with the truth? We somehow imagine that if we just hide, we can avoid facing the reality of who we are or what we’ve done. Here David writes so disarmingly truthful, reminding us that we cannot escape God’s presence nor his knowledge of us. We played “hide and seek” as children but for some people, that little game has continued with God. We are instinctively material thinkers, and our common reaction is such. We are often more comfortable talking about things and events than we are talking about our inner self. We are perhaps more “human doings” than human beings. Our prayers often reflect more on material concerns.

     Is there some aspect of your life that you are avoiding talking with God about? Perhaps you are choosing to ignore it. After all, if you are busy with other things, maybe God will forget about it, or at least you will . . . but you won’t. David reminds us that no amount of finagling or neglect on our part makes things go away. Adam and Eve tried hiding from God and it didn’t work then, and it hasn’t worked for anyone since! Not even the dark of night can hide us for God sees and hears everything. Afterall, wherever we go mentally or physically, “God is there.”  

     Our comfort is that God sees and cares about every part of our lives and isn’t shocked by the way we live, though sometimes it grieves him. In this portion of the psalm, David is helping us see beyond places in the world to get away from God. God is Spirit and it is not possible to escape or hide from a spiritual being, which is why you can’t hide from yourself.

     The season of Lent is a time of penitence, urging us to come before our Creator and come clean as we journey with Jesus on his path to the cross. We are challenged to recognize the heavenly world that surrounds us and to live in that world as well as this earthly material one. Is there something in your life that needs God’s attention, rather, that needs your attention? Do you see God’s tender love and care for you expressed in this passage? David has given us a wonderful perspective in this psalm to help us live into what is true. If you are in the dark or running from God, you can’t get away. He knows right where you are and loves you. His hand will guide you and his strength will support you.

Suggested Lenten Reading: C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters (also recorded on YouTube by the actor John Cleese) 

Music: “Psalm 139” Sons of Korah

Prayer: Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name; through Christ our Lord.

                                                                                      —from the Book of Common Prayer.