Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
At the start of secondary school, I got chased by a bully who had nothing but bad intentions.
Every time I looked back, all I wanted was to run faster and further in fear.
David was also likely familiar with this feeling, having been followed by enemies for many years. But he also believed that from the moment he awoke each morning, despite what the day might hold, God was chasing him with goodness. And no matter how much he’d wandered from his Shepherd, whether due to fear or sin, he was able to turn back and see that God’s posture of love hadn’t changed. The promise of his presence was sure.
Goodness and love always follow God’s flock – from the moment we get up, head into work, have our morning briefing, and prepare our daily lists. God’s goodness doesn’t cease to follow us in the ups and downs of our day.
There are usually two barriers to embracing God’s goodness: believing we either don’t need it, or that we must somehow earn it. The former leads to pride and the latter to despair. But our Shepherd leads us in paths of righteousness not only followed by love, but also leading toward a promise of eternal love.
As disciples, we can look back at the cross to fully appreciate God’s loving pursuit of us. Unless we look at the cross, we risk thinking that our goodness is necessary for God’s goodness to pursue us, or that we can survive without his love.
If we feel like we’ve wandered away from our Shepherd’s goodness, we don’t need to look back in fear. We can turn back knowing that he is chasing us wholeheartedly with good intentions. Whether we’ve been wandering in sin, weariness, loneliness, or despair, we can surrender afresh to the Shepherd’s loving embrace.
Unlike a bully, God doesn’t follow us to abuse or shame us. He follows so that we can experience his love and presence every single day – now and into eternity. This is the compelling hope we get to share. And not only can we embrace his goodness and love, but we can demonstrate it to those on our frontlines, following in the steps of our Good Shepherd.
Jesus promised, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)
LICC Church Associate and Associate Pastor & Discipleship Lead, Christ Church London
How will you demonstrate God’s goodness and love to people on your frontlines this week? Join the conversation below.
Listen as you consider God’s faithful promises over your life and work. May we be refreshed by God’s goodness and love for our frontlines this week.