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Stubbornly Green

Apr 08, 2003 02:55 PM EDT

Psalm 139:7-12 (NRSV)

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can 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 settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

The psalmist wrote, "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me." -- Psalm 139:9-10 (KJV)

I have lived in "the uttermost parts" of the earth. The most dramatic was a small mining town perched on a slag heap in the Arizona desert. It was hot and dusty, and fumes from the nearby smelter burned our eyes and turned the air yellow. With three young children and little money, I had difficulty maintaining my faith.

In our backyard was a poplar sapling. Without much hope, my three young sons and I tended the tree. All through that cold, clammy winter, through chicken pox, innumerable colds, even through an emergency operation on my middle son, we watered the tree. There were days when it drooped so much we had to tie it to a stake to keep it up - but it never quite died. As I washed the dishes, I could look out the window and see that tree -- still there -- still stubbornly green.

I have thought of that tree at other times when the "wings of the morning" have taken me to some place I was not ready for. God's tree blooms and God's hand is there to lead us, no matter how lost we feel. That image of God's persistent faithfulness gives me courage to place my hand in God's and to renew my faith.

Prayer: God, when we feel lost and forsaken, remind us of your stubborn presence. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

There is no place where God's hand is not there for us.

PRAYER FOCUS:

Those searching for God

By Eleanor E. McKelvey, California