7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ps 139:7-12
When I got mad as little girl I would try to run away. Running away for me meant storming out the front door with the utmost attitude and then becoming “invisible.” After, activating my “invisible shield” I would sneak around the side of the house to the back yard. Then, while still in stealth mode, I would quietly make my way through the back yard, ducking behind the retaining wall to the swing set. Once here I would carefully ascend the slight hill to the alcove where the air conditioner was located. Once here, I would squeeze between the air conditioner and the house and sit and wait. I would wait as long as I possibly could (which was probably about 5 minutes). And as I sat there for those eternal five minutes, I felt separated from everyone and everything. My little girl heart felt alone and extremely far away, but in reality, I was sitting under the bay window of the family room. My parents were probably less than 30 feet away; I didn’t realize that the distance I felt was in my heart and not my location.
In this section of Psalm 139 David wrestles with the nearness of God. He is walking through the truth that God is everywhere or omnipresent. Just as we saw in the first six verses, here David again uses extremes to express the fact that there literally is NO WHERE he can go to escape the hand of God. We all go through times when we feel alone. Maybe we have recently moved and we miss the friends we left behind. Maybe you've recently begun to make life choices that have separated you from unhealthy relationships. Or maybe you have a a great support system, but something in your spirit makes your heart feel distant from those around you. Whatever the reason, by choice or circumstance, that makes you feel distant from others, you can be comforted in the fact that God is near. David's words agree with many other Scriptures that God will not leave you! In fact, David states in verse ten that even when we FEEL like we couldn't be farther away from God, His right hand is on us, guiding us and holding us steady. We can have confidence that even in our darkest night, God is there, overcoming the darkness with His light! I love David's words in verse 12 “Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night with SHINE LIKE THE DAY, for darkness is as light to you.” (emphasis mine) What encouraging words! Have you felt like the darkness was overwhelming your life recently. When we get to that place, to the place where you feel like I did as a little girl, stuck between the air conditioner and the house, all alone, take heart and be encouraged…God is there…His hand is on you, His right hand will hold you fast. He does not leave us to walk through these moments alone, He is near enough to hold us in His hand. We can be encouraged in the darkest night, that the distance we feel, is just that, a feeling. But the reality is the God of the Universe, is wrapping you up in His arms of love. He will be your strength and the light you need to make your way through the darkness. Notice that David doesn't say, God makes the darkness disappear, instead he says the Light of the World shines as bright as the day even in the darkness. Sound familiar? We see a similar description of Jesus in John 1.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, S. Jn 1:4-5
One of the tempations we can succomb to is thinking that the Light cannot overcome the darkness. This leaves us powerless, emotionally stumbling through the dark, stubbing toes and running into walls. But there is HOPE! God's light shines through the darkness. His light makes even the darkest night shine like the day. Are you encouraged? I hope so. We live in a fallen world where it is easy to lose hope, or put our hope in something that is not secure, but the HOPE that God will overcome the darkness is a hope that will not disappoint. Why? Because it has already happened. It is a promise we can count on, not a wish we hope will come true. So today, whether you are at a sunny place spiritually or you are in the trenches, please take time to acknowledge the truth that David so eloquently shares with us: God is everywhere, and He makes even the darkest night as bright as the day!
Lord, thank you that even when we FEEL overwhelmed by the darkness, we can stand on the truth that we are not alone. You are here. And in Your presence the darkness is made to shine like the day. Thank You that the darkness in our lives is overwhelmed by the Light of Jesus! Thank You for the promise over and over in Your Word that You will never leave me or forsake me. I praise you for your omniscience in my life. Help me choose to see your light overwhelming the darkness in my life today. I love you, Lord.