"The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from now and for evermore" (Ps. 121:8).
The proclamation of the passage above is simply hard to believe. Does the Lord really watch over my coming and going perpetually? How is this even possible?
I simply do not have a mental model for the mere scope of this assignment. That is, until my daughter introduced me to an app called RunKeeper. This app tells me how far I've run, my average time per mile and my overall time, down to the second. It gives me a read out on the various elevations on my run through a bar graph.
Not only that but it shows me an overview map of exactly where I have run. If I showed you my history, you would see maps of beaches, mountains and all kinds of locations and terrains around the world.
Here's what's even more amazing. RunKeeper not only tracks and records my locations; it does so for 10 million other runners as well! If humans can invent a piece of technology to track the steps of 10 million people simultaneously for $1.99, is it really much of a stretch to believe God can track 6 billion of us? I guess not.
God is transcendent; he is above all. God is also immanent; he is near—very near. How near? A few verses earlier in the Psalm the writer tells us "the Lord is your shade at your right hand" (Ps. 121:5).
So, I now have a mental concept of God's capacity to watch and track all of my comings and goings now and forevermore. Yet, I am still left with one more puzzling question—Why? Why would God want to do this?
Most of my days would make an insomniac fall asleep. Don't get me wrong, I love my routine and the minor assignments on my "to-do" list for the day. I just can't see how this could possibly be a good use of the Divine Creator's time.
As one probes for a possible answer, it's not hard to find. It is stamped on almost every page of Scripture. He watches over our coming and our going now and forevermore because he loves us and cares deeply for us. Easy to understand, but hard to grasp that the one true God over all deeply loves and cares about us.
Right now I am sitting in a hospital room. My grandson arrived into the world yesterday. As he lay in his crib I am towering over him watching his every move—every twitch of the eye, every move to the right or two the left; a yawn is big news. The smirk on his face evoked by gas sure looks like a genuine smile in my book.
To anyone else this would seem like a colossal waste of time, but not for me, or my wife or daughter or son in-law. I love my grandson. Oh my, this is how God feels about me but with so much more depth and perfection. Somehow, we must all comes to terms with this reality and soak it in. Right now, my grandson has no clue of my intense love and protection over him. One day he will.
The same is true for us with God. We spend many years going through life unaware He has been tracking us morning and night. The goal is to one day become aware of God's presence in our lives. When we do, we write our own Psalm—maybe not as eloquent as the one above, but just as meaningful. Maybe that day for you is today!
"Dear Heavenly Father, I now understand that You have the capacity to watch over my coming and going now and forever more. How overwhelming! What is even more overwhelming is the reason You do this. You are driven to watch my every move because You love me and care for me. I don't fully grasp why You have chosen me but I am aware of it and it makes me feel real safe. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, amen."
Adapted from Randy Frazee's new book, Think, Act, Be Like Jesus (Zondervan), 2015. Click here to order.