Surely God is good to Israel; to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. NIV
All due respect to Asaph, he’s just got it wrong here.
The Message paraphrases these verses, “No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made, Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.” MSG
Everyone has cares. It doesn’t matter what our worldly circumstances are, there are still plenty of things that distract us and worry us. “Not having a care in the world,” is at best a transient feeling, if you’re living life depending on your circumstances.
If, however, you are living life depending on God, things can and will be so much better, regardless of your circumstances.
I have a dear friend who called me unexpectedly yesterday. She quoted Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” NIV
We talked for a while about the privilege of this, of being able to take God’s hand and to follow him through the fog of uncertainty that is life here on earth.
She asked me, “Are you right-handed?” I am.
And then, the true power of that verse hit home. If I am reaching up to God, if I have grasped ahold of him with my right hand, there’s almost nothing I can accomplish on my own. About the only thing I can do left handed is to unlock my phone.
He takes hold of my right hand … that’s pretty powerful.
Since yesterday morning, I’ve been thinking of this image of reaching up to take God’s hand … as I did my dad’s when I was little. I can remember holding his hand on the parking lot of Zayre’s, and noticing how slowly he walked. I can remember thinking that I could take three steps in the time it took him to take only one.
In that same way that my dad was mindful of the pace that I could manage the trek from the car to the store, God is mindful of the pace at which I can manage my life today. Surely, God is good!
That’s what I’ll think about today.