First Off…read Psalm 43!
As often with me when I read Scripture, there is a line or two that jumps out and grabs my focus – and in this case I’m drawn to verse 3.
“Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.”
The image I get is someone lost. Someone so deep in the wrong direction that their only hope is a sign from God – a light that illuminates the path home and brings comfort to their panicked soul. What compounds this psalm is that not only is there this image of being utterly lost and panicked…but when we add verse 1 and 2 we then also get this feeling that they are surrounded by enemies. So now are they not only lost…but they’ve rounded a corner to which they thought was the way home and walked into the wrong crowd. Surrounded… outnumbered… panicked… and scared, what do you do?
The only thing you CAN do: Cry out to God.
I’ve never been lost to the point of panic but I know WHAT I would do if a loved one ever found themselves in that position. Anything and everything. I wouldn’t sleep till I found them. The only food I’d want to eat was any food that could be portable so I could continue to search and also be energizing so that I could keep searching. I would send up beacons, higher flight crews to canvas an area, and I wouldn’t stop praying. I would put up flyers, knock on doors, I would cry out to God, and I wouldn’t stop praying. No mountain would be too steep for me to search, no valley too low. They say that we’ve only explored 5% of the ocean…I would search the deepest depths of the ocean and chart new territories…simply to find you and bring you home.
And I would pray. Continuously.
I know that this psalm is not from that perspective (from the seeker and not the lost) but I just cannot relate to David and his feeling of being lost and scared and needing hope and a path and light home. But you know what? That’s OK…because understanding what I would do for those I love begins to help me understand what God has done for his children that were lost, what God has done for ME. And it helps us understand God’s calling to David and David’s eventual rescue.
The whole story of Scripture is about God and his unfailing love and desire to BE with his kids. And as we read scripture we’re invited to see that WE are those lost children…and that God, throughout time, has sent out flares and beacons to our S.O.S. signals. Prophets after prophets have come to help us find our way home. David asks for God’s “light” to lead him? Yeah…I don’t think we can count how many times God has done that. And then finally – the largest search party, and most successful EVER…was Jesus Christ. Imagine yourself in the middle of the woods…surrounded by massively heavy trees and forest and rocks and cliffs…then all the sudden a path appears out of nowhere. And not only a path – but you can actually see home from where you stand – as if space folded in half and your “home” was suddenly brought to you. By Christ’s coming to earth, by Christ’s dying on the cross and raising to life, and by the Holy Spirit’s empowering strength and love into our lives…we are given light and faithful care. We are lead and brought home to our “joy and delight”: God.
What did God do to bring you and me home? He sent his Son to find us. It was a mission that would lead to his death…but it was a mission he gladly took. It cost him his life – but it gave you yours.
I may have never felt lost…but I sure was lost. We all were and many of us still are today…but that doesn’t stop God. That doesn’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit who gently, and mightily calls us out of the lost and into the “found”.
Do me a favor – and listen to one of my most favorite songs of all time. The group is Third Day and the song is titled: “Just to Be With You”.