I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Knee to knee, we sat on the couch sipping tea and savoring the gift of an unhurried afternoon. My young friend shared with me the new developments in her life, and specifically a recent diagnosis that threatened to derail her hopes and dreams for the future. It was devastating news. What would this mean for her future? What could she expect? Fear had encircled, shouting despair over her life and mocking the God she loved so dearly. “You see? You can’t count on God. Where is He when you really need Him?” The only thing we knew to do next was to scooch in close, bow our heads, and reach out for God’s comfort in prayer.
In his fictional book, The Screwtape Letters, C.S Lewis pulls back the cosmic curtain and allows the reader to overhear conversations between a senior and junior demon. Screwtape, the experienced demon, instructs Wormwood in the art of temptation! One of most eye-opening strategies proposed was to keep the human focused forward or backward, but under no circumstances, should he be allowed to dwell in the present. He asserts that the past is frozen and the future filled with unrealities—both prime opportunities to chain the soul to regret or fear. But, of the present moment he cautions
“The Present is the point at which time touches eternity…the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”
In other words, it is in this present moment that we find God! He is literally with us at every point in time! When focusing on what is behind or ahead at a future yet unborn, we step away from the present, holy moment…the one filled with the power and presence of the Almighty.
What does it mean that God watches over us? Or, that He will not allow our feet to slip? I have come to believe that He goes far beyond watching over our lives! The fervor of His love compels God to draw near, so near that He suffers with us as He lovingly holds us in ALL of our moments.
He is not a far-away God, but rather, is our Father, attentive and present now and now and now!
Before my friend married the man of her dreams or held a cherished baby in her arms, she would endure a long and arduous period of suffering, one with lots of unknowns and no guarantees. She may not have always felt the reality of God near but, all the while He watched over her coming and going. He was the shade at her right hand, and never, not once, did He sleep or slumber. He held her as she cried and waited and struggled to trust Him. In spite of what we do or do not understand about our lives and even in the midst of circumstances that shout “Where is your God?”…HE IS and cannot help but watch over our lives now and forevermore!
“Father, I confess that I spend too much time fearing the future and things that may never happen. Draw me into your company and the present moment that is all lit up with eternal rays! Thank You for watching over me and, especially, for holding me in all my moments, both in joy and sorrow. Amen.”
What about you?
Do you need reminding today that God is always watching over your life?
Do you find yourself dwelling on the uncertainty of the future or, regret over the past?
Can you bring your questions, fears and hopes to God?
God is with you now. He never sleeps nor slumbers. He watches over you now and forevermore. Reach for Him. Talk with Him.