Reading (Psalm 139)
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 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, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night”, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Last week, in my thought for the day, I wrote about my journey to my mum’s house that I do on a Monday evening. This is what I wrote at the beginning of my thought. “As many of you will know, each week I drive from our home here in Scaldwell, along the A43, up the A1 and then along the A46, to Lincoln. It’s not the most exciting of routes, in fact some people might describe it as boring, but it is generally quite a quick route which for me is the most important factor.”
The weather was not great last Monday, it was rather foggy, so I left home a little earlier than usual so that if I needed to go a bit slower due to the fog, I would still arrive at mum’s house on time. Little did I know that the fog was going to be the least of my difficulties that evening. Unbeknown to me, there had been a lorry fire on the A43, somewhere between Kettering and Corby, exactly where I wanted to go, so that within 15 minutes of leaving the house, I found myself in a queue of traffic that was going nowhere very fast. In fact, it took me well over an hour to travel what should have taken me 20 minutes. I stayed in the slow-moving queue of traffic as I didn’t know what the situation was, until the announcer on the radio informed me of the problem. Eventually I arrived at a roundabout only to discover that the police had closed the road ahead of me and I had to find another way.
I stopped in a village and got out my phone. My phone was able to tell me exactly where I was and give me an alternative route; it also allowed me to let those who were expecting me know that I was delayed. I set off only to find that my alternative route also had a closed road and so I found myself on smaller and smaller roads as I tried to get across to the A1. Finally, after a third closed road I found myself back on familiar roads and just then the fog lifted and the rest of my journey to mum’s house was good. My total journey time was 3 hours and 40 minutes, I had taken 2 hours longer than usual. There was nothing quick or boring about the route that evening.
During the week I reflected on that journey and considered what I could learn from the experience. I was extremely grateful to have had my mobile phone with me and appreciated the technology that helped me get to where I wanted to go. I was also very thankful that I was able to tell both my mum and Rob that I was safe and that all was well, even though I was going to be late.
For the Christian the words contained in the bible are more precious than our mobile phones. The bible gives us the guidance to where we are going in life. The bible also points out to us where we are with God and it gives those who love us the reassurance that all is well and that we are safe in God’s love. It is important that we read our bibles so that we get to know what is contained within the pages of scripture, so that when we are in difficulty, we can bring to mind the words of help, guidance or comfort that we need.
Father God, we thank you for the words in the bible that are there to guide us safely to you.