This is a busy time—not just a busy time of year, but the busiest time we experience in a four-year span. Every four years, the Church of God Convention has a focus on the global church, and we have missionaries and leaders from around the world that come to the event to share what God is doing in their midst. It’s all happening at the end of the month, June 22-25, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. It’s an exciting time, and it’s a time when there is more work (on top of the daily work we do) to make things come together. We love it and we are exhausted during this season.
Along with all that is happening, it always seems like these are the times people get sick. It’s the time when our anxiety increases; other challenges arise. And there isn’t as much margin to see the good that God is doing around us.
I am reading a book called The Lord Is My Courage by K. J. Ramsey. Ramsey is a therapist, author, and has been involved in church ministry. Her book explores Psalm 23, expresses the abuse she and her husband experienced in the church, and offers ways to find hope.
In her chapter “Will Follow Me,” she talks about the word follow in Psalm 23. The passage in the NIV reads, “Surely, your goodness and love will follow me…” The word follow is the Hebrew radaph, which is translated as pursue, chase, or persecute. It is most often used negatively by David (Psalm 7, Psalm 109, etc.) to talk about how his enemies pursue him. Of the 144 times radaph is used in the Bible, the use in Psalm 23 is the only time it is connected to goodness and love. In essence, David is changing the narrative and instead of seeing his enemies on his tail, he sees God’s goodness as chasing after him with the same intensity.
In these seasons of exhaustion and anxiety, it is a powerful reminder that God’s goodness and love are pursuing me.
“Every day of our lives we are being chased down by grace. Your whole life is not about finding God. It is about being found” (245).