Devotion for February 6, 2024

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:17,18)

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I have turned to it for comfort many times. It has carried me through grief and loss, as well as into new life and new beginnings. It is a wisdom psalm with themes that match the needs around us.

For example, the whole psalm resonates with the utter sovereignty of God, who has not only created all things but created us. God did not create us randomly to see what would happen. Rather, He had a plan and purpose for us, which is unfolding as we live our lives day by day. He has been present with us even before we knew of His presence.

The more science progresses, the less we seem to know. We think we understand the biology of conception and how a baby grows in the womb. Yet we have no real understanding of how God does that and what it means for a person to be a living soul in His presence. This psalm talks about the relationship God has with us from before we were conceived, right through to the very end of our days.

In reading our text for today, we are amazed to find it is not our thoughts of God that sustain us, but His thoughts of us! His thoughts of us are endless. His eye is constantly upon us. He is continuously meditating on us with joy and singing over us with love: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

It is as though God can’t get enough of the joy He has in having us in His presence. Even while we’re asleep, He is with us. And as we awake, we do not enter His presence; we realize we have been in that presence all the way through. That’s so if it’s our afternoon siesta, night-time sleep, or the doctor’s anesthetic.

This takes us away from our self-centered reflections. It moves us to a world where we are amazed at God’s mindfulness of us far more than our mindfulness of Him. And that means we can live freely and at peace with Him and the world He has made. Because even when we sleep the last sleep of death, we awake in His presence, knowing He has never left us.

Prayer

Lord, be with me always, my strength and my shield, and give me Your strength and mercy each and every day. Grant me a life dedicated to Your service and doing Your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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