And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; they wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view! (Psalm 84:5-7)
The psalmist declares that "happy" is the one in whom God "takes up residence" - the one that gives him right placement in their lives. As I read this passage today, I began to ask the question, "Is my life marked by the footsteps and hand prints of God?" If God "passes through" my life on a frequent basis, my life should be marked well by his "tracks".
The psalmist goes on in this same Psalm to tell us that "he doesn't scrimp with his traveling companions" and that it is "smooth sailing all the way with God!" Wow! Does that mean that I will never encounter any difficulty in my life if I will just surrender to God? Absolutely not! What the Psalmist had in mind is that God spares nothing to provide us with the protection we need, the provision that becomes more than we need, or the presentation of his grace as we travel along with him into uncertainties.
God's provision is always greater than our awareness of our need. His protection is quicker and more thorough than our awareness of the dangers we face. His offered grace and mercy are freer than any other offered blessing that crosses our paths along our journeys in life.
That being the case, I wonder what we do with his provision - do we embrace it? Are we wilfully rejecting it? Do we hoard it up all for our own enjoyment and satisfaction? Or do we disperse it into the lives of others around us so that they too may be blessed in their journey? What is it that we do in his protective arms - under the umbrella of his watchfulness and safe-keeping? Some of us might just nuzzle up there and enjoy the protective arms of our God, but I also know that we may, at times, chafe under that watchfulness. Instead of finding shelter there, we complain about the limits he places in our lives - all the while pushing against those limits because we don't like being "limited".
When we examine our response to his mercy and grace, we are afforded an opportunity for the examination of our heart and mind as it relates to the healing of our pasts. His mercy and grace are there to create wholeness out of the emotional, physical, and spiritual injuries of our past. Sometimes, we don't want to let go of what is so imperfect within us, choosing to hold on to the crushed emotional state or the experienced damage of our spirit. It has become a thing of certainty in our lives and letting go presents a place of uncertainty - so we hold on. Yet, God extends his arms and offers his mercy and grace - looking for an exchange to occur (our pain for his provision).
A traveler is impacted by his travels - there are memories that are formed, experiences that are new and fresh that become things we hold onto, and moments of awe as we partake something new and beautiful. Those we choose to travel with along our journey in life impact the beauty and enjoyment of the path we travel. Therefore, they also impact the memories we form along the way. We can choose God as our traveling companion and be blessed along our journey - and this is just exactly what the psalmist had in mind as he penned these words.
Our blessings are determined by who travels with us. Choose your traveling companions wisely!