Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life. Psalm 23:6a NKJV
Among the many children’s games, this one I enjoyed.
We called it “Tag,” and, as far as I know, kids still play it. Since I got glasses at an early age, I had to be careful what games I played, inside and outside of school. Mom and Dad warned me regularly not to break my glasses. In those days, they didn’t have insurance to cover the cost of replacing them. I could have removed my glasses during the game, but that would have accomplished little. I was half-blind and could not have seen who I chased.
I was also a skinny kid, so tackling and roughhousing didn’t dot my list of things to do. I feared getting hurt or breaking a bone. I suppose I grew up a cautious kid because of my stature and my eyesight.
But “Tag” I could handle. No bodily contact. Just reaching out and touching the person or people I chased. That also carried over into “Flag Football,” which I didn’t mind either. No tackling. No chance of getting hurt. Just chasing the person with the ball and pulling a flag from his pocket.
David, as a shepherd, enjoyed chasing and being chased. The entire psalm details how a good shepherd chases his sheep with certain things: food, water, green pastures, a rod, a staff, peaceful waters. And David’s God, his Shepherd, chased him with those same symbolic things.
When a shepherd chases his sheep with the proper things, they find themselves corralled into a privileged position. In turn, the sheep leave behind them good fertilizer and pastures that are free of bothersome weeds. The sheep follow, and they leave things behind that follow them.
As followers of the Good Shepherd, we live in a privileged position. Free from condemnation. Able to love unconditionally. Safe in eternity. Free to live with an unexplainable peace. No matter our circumstances, we move on, one step at a time, knowing our Shepherd will guide us to green pastures.
Through our experience with our good Shepherd, we experience goodness and mercy. Mercy defined is undeserved favor. We don’t deserve what our Shepherd does for us, nor could we ever earn His favor. Our good deeds won’t save us. Our only hope lies in His goodness and mercy, which He freely gives when we ask. From that moment on, He chases us with daily love.
But our Shepherd doesn’t want us to only receive His goodness and mercy. He wants these same two traits to follow us so that others might experience what we have. He wants us to become channels. He chases us with mercy, we receive it, and then we leave it behind for everyone we encounter. They may not deserve it, but we give and leave it anyway. Because God has chased us, we chase.
Thank God daily that He chases you with goodness and mercy.
Prayer: Father, thank You for your goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives.
Tweetable: Are you enjoying God's chase?
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