You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Recently, my family and I have taken up bike riding. I've forgotten the sweet freedom that comes from hopping on a bike and cruising down the road. As a kid, the whole world suddenly opens up to you. As an adult, I can now turn even a mundane trip to the grocery store into an aerobic workout!!
When we go out biking together, there are some important rules we follow. First, no one gets onto a bike without a helmet. Second, no one crosses an intersection until they hear Mommy or Daddy yell, "Clear!" The problem is, when I'm out riding alone with the boys, I cannot be both before and behind them. I have to pick one spot. If I ride before them I can lead the way, call back when cars are approaching from the front, and get to busy intersections first. However, I can't see cars coming up from behind, I can't monitor where the boys are in the road, and the boys have a harder time hearing me call back to them.
If I ride behind them I can see and hear cars approaching in front and behind, I can monitor their positions on the road and my voice carries a bit better as I call toward them. However, the boys have a tendency to zoom ahead and reach intersections before I do. And, if a car approaches too quickly from the front, I'm not there to immediately intercede, nor am I able to give directions to where we're going.
Ideally, I could be in both places at once!!
This dilemma always reminds me of the fact that God is actually able to go both before us and behind us in our daily living, and I am so grateful for that! I rest assured knowing that if I am behind my boys, God is in front. And, vice versa. Moreover, God is both leading us forward in our lives and watching our backs at the same time!!
God goes before us--leading, directing, preparing the path, making sure the intersections are clear before we cross. And, God goes behind us--encouraging us onward, watching our progress, helping us out of scrapes along the way, not letting us fall behind, and standing between us and our past.
As if that's not incredible enough, God also walks right beside us every moment of every day. And sometimes, when we need it most, He has the ability to pick us up and carry us.
It's so comforting to know that God constantly surrounds us!!
Lord, you have examined me.
You know me.2
You know when I sit down and when I stand up.
Even from far away, you comprehend my plans.3
You study my traveling and resting.
You are thoroughly familiar with all my ways.4
There isn’t a word on my tongue, Lord,
that you don’t already know completely.5
You surround me—front and back.
You put your hand on me.
Blessings and Peace,