I read this familiar passage recently, and an interesting thought sprang to my mind:
We’re are never really alone, when you stop and think about it. Of course, the Lord is always with us, but this verse lets me know that I have two other friends keeping me company as well – goodness and mercy.
These are words that we hear a lot about – especially traveling in Christian circles. So I thought I would take the time to look them up and share the definitions here.
- Goodness. According to Webster’s Dictionary, this word means “the quality or state of being good.” I didn’t find this definition too helpful, so I looked up “good” instead, and the first definition caught my attention: “of favorable character or tendency.”
- Mercy. Our friends at Webster define mercy as “kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly,” and “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.”
So this is a pretty remarkable promise: Surely (meaning “in a confident way,” according to Webster) the Lord’s goodness and compassion will literally follow me all the days of my life; and when my time on this earth is done, I will spend eternity with Him – enjoying His goodness and mercy in perpetuity.
Wherever I go, God’s goodness and mercy travel with me. They are always with me – even when things seem hard.
This does not mean that everything that I experience will be good. But it does mean that God is for me, and that He showers me with steady goodness and compassion that I don’t necessarily deserve (based on my own merits).
The way I see it, it’s sort of like the sun. No matter what we do on earth, the sun rises every day: we are powerless to stop this from happening. The sun is the very life force on our planet – enabling plants to grow, oxygen to be generated, and keeping our climate at temperatures that sustain life. Of course, if we fail to heed the power of the sun, we can experience great harm, but generally speaking, it works in our favor.
I’m not saying that God is like the sun, but I’m trying to share a word picture that helps me understand his character a bit better. The goodness and mercy of God are like the sun in that their benefits are available to me every day, regardless of what I say or do. Put another way, is the very character of God to be good and merciful, quite independent of my performance.
So, the next time you’re feeling low, remember that you are not alone! Goodness and mercy are not that far behind you, and they will always accompany you wherever you may go.
Dear Lord, I thank You for this encouraging reminder from the Bible. No matter where I go, Your goodness and mercy will always be with me, and this truth is a real comfort. Accordingly, I am never really alone, even if I feel lonely sometimes.
I am grateful that it is Your character to be good and compassionate, and I don’t have to worry about performing up to a certain standard in order to earn Your approval. I can simply enjoy the benefits that accrue to me by being Your child – Your steadfast goodness and mercy, among many other things. Thank You for these great gifts! In Your name I pray, Amen.