“Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” – Psalm 23:6
Words are truly a passion of mine, because words reveal truth, they activate the imagination, and allow us to express the very depths of our hearts. It is often with a love of words that I read God’s Word, hoping to glean a deeper understanding of the God of Heaven. Did you know that the word, “follow” in the Psalm above means, “to chase after?” This definition ignited my imagination as I began to envision goodness and mercy, God Himself, chasing after me. My heart was so moved imagining my feet rhythmically hitting the pavement of a runner’s track with Jesus slightly behind me while rounding the curve. The sound of his stride increasingly grew louder and louder demonstrating His determination to catch up with me. In this case, words certainly fall short in attempting to describe the passion and determination our Heavenly Father possesses as He pursues an intimate friendship with us.
While I so deeply love Him for pursuing me with such consistency and intensity, there is a part of me that was saddened by the picture of Him chasing me, too. After all, if He is having to run after me to enjoy fellowship with me, this implies that I am running ahead of Him rather than slowing down enough to be caught by Him. Isn’t this akin to the story of Hosea frequently chasing after his love, Gomer, only to repeatedly realize that she does not want him? There are few people who will persistently pursue loving someone not desirous of love. Yet, that is exactly what Hosea did, and it is precisely what Jesus does with people. See, by slowing our stride just enough to be caught by Him, we are then reminded of what we have missed in close friendship with Him and refreshed to run by His side once again.
Let’s purpose to slow our pace just enough so that we are able to run along side of our Heavenly Father in order to experience the satisfaction and fruit of His close friendship. Consequently, our abiding relationship with Him will naturally be contagious to others as they see Him through us and choose to be caught by the Heavenly chaser.