Countdown to Thanksgiving – Day 16

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a strange year.
But God was not surprised by all the events that have happened.

Would you join me in a four-week countdown to Thanksgiving?
When we stop for a moment, we realize we have much to be thankful for.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

(Psalm 139:7-12, English Standard Version)

As we stroll through Psalm 139 with King David, we see God in new ways. Yesterday, we saw that God knows everything – He knows us better than we know ourselves. Today, we see that God is present everywhere David turned – everywhere David could imagine going, God was already there to meet David when he arrived!

Have you ever felt very alone, scared, vulnerable, afraid? Even years later, those memories can haunt our minds.

Now take a moment, close your eyes, and re-imagine one of those times. But instead of you being there alone, invite Jesus to join you in that memory – claim His promise that before you arrived, He was already there!

A friend invited me to walk through a hurtful event from many years ago and invite Jesus into that memory. It was such a blessing and relief to be able to sense God showing up on the scene, telling me (not literally) that the event was hurtful, that my pain did matter, and that He cared about the event, and about me.

David realizes that God is present, whether it’s light or dark – it’s all the same to the Creator of the universe. God neither sleeps, nor does He slumber.

David is not running away from God – he is comforted in knowing and experiencing God’s presence everywhere he goes.

Here is paraphrase that captures David’s thoughts and heart well:

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

(Psalm 139:7-12, The Message translation)

Lord, thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me – everywhere I go, You already are.

Lord, You possess the darkness as well as the light – they are the same to You. In fact, You created both darkness and light! Thank You.

Lord, I confess that I sometimes act selfishly and don’t follow You. Lord, even when when I wander off Your path, You are there and kindly guide me back to Your way, and I experience Your joy once again.

Lord, thank You that we can bring our hurts and fears and failures to You – that these things matter, and You care and desire to heal us and free us from these burdens.

Lord, thank You for giving us Your Spirit to lead us and guide us throughout each day. May we follow You in Your way – even when we don’t understand, we can trust Your good heart and love toward us.


Thankful for God’s constant presence,