Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Never Alone

"The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." - Psalm 121

This little lamb is a dyed in the wool soccer fan. One of the greatest teams has always been Liverpool. If you were to walk with me into their stadium, above the entrance you'd see these words emblazened in gold: "You'll never walk alone."

I always found this line a little melo-dramatic for a soccer team. But hey, in Europe they're passionate about their "football" as they call it, which makes sense because they actually use their feet. But there's something in the motto that resonates all the way to the deepest frequency of my heart. Simply put my greatest fear is walking alone. So this hits close to home.

I like taking walks alone sometimes, but never totally alone. I never want to walk without God's presence. His presence speaks of the fellowship that Liverpool fans refer to: A longing to be part of something bigger. The ideal of losing themself in a greater reality.

I believe this is what the Psalmest is referring to in the "Song of Ascents" quoted above. As the pilgrims ascended to Jerusalem, they had the promise of God's presence going with them and prompting them on.

Man this is so encouraging to me today. So many of us are isolated and alone. Our world tells us it's all about us, and it will always only be about us. We are the "I am" and God isn't.

We're lost people who need his presence on the walk. As children of God, we have the assurance of his presence always. And his presence never cramps our personality or our need for space.

I'm an introvert, and I never want to be without God's presence. His presence feeds me when I'm apart from people. He is my living and walking home.

Jesus is the only one who knows true absolute isolation. He felt it on the cross. He felt it for us. He cared so much about our "God walks" together, that he endured ultimate seperation. He was the only man who truly walked alone, and just thinking about it made him sweat blood. His was an indescribably desolate walk.

God's children "never walk alone." God has a passionate, even furious, love for his children. From every breath we take to the thoughts we have, we're not alone. And thanks to Jesus, God doesn't leave when we sin. He is always with us. Always with me.

Our God could be described as "the always with us God." This truth comforts me on days like today, when I don't know how I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Truly alone, walking would be a terrible thing.

So even though I don't always feel his presence, the reality is that he is always with me is the exact encouragement I need. He knows the way. He walks. He moves. He lives. And in Him I live.

You will never walk alone.