“Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 86:4)
We walk at night, Bill and I, when the Florida sun has tipped its head low and a slight breeze accompanies our routine. Together we exercise our bodies, clear our heads, and process the mundane and significant pieces of the day.
At times the clouds swallow up the moon and lampposts are non-existent. Then the pathway is harder to navigate, and I imagine that I will suddenly trip and sprawl headlong. But Bill extends his arm, and I lock mine in his. He is sturdy, steadying my wobble. Then no matter if piles of pebbles or squishy sand are underfoot, his arm keeps me upright as we move toward home.
Where the path narrows dramatically and we are forced to walk in single file, he projects the flashlight behind his back and transforms the darkness. I can see his feet directly in front, and I follow the rhythm of his steady pace. I only step where he has already been.
Our Lord does no less for us.
Light pours from the Spirit he gave us. He is front runner and rear guard no matter where we are, what we face, or what might be just up ahead on the road. God led the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years. He has this year ahead covered too.
His words to them are for us, for now.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you…It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31: 4, 8).
Lord, we ask you to go ahead of us into this uncertain future where we have little idea what to expect. Guard us with your power, grant us wisdom for each step ahead, fortify us with your loving arms. We thank you for leading us through the past year and we commit this next year to you. You alone are our security and our certainty. We are grateful we belong to you. Amen
Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Photo Credit: Jen Tinneberg on Unsplash