Oh man, I’m so here today! Ann Voskamp has an encouraging blog post about stress…tsunami’s of stress. Here’s a taste to entice you to click on the full length link:
“There are paint cans in the garage and a heap of laundry settling sandy in the mudroom and towers of books to plan through, for a new year of fresh learning, a new forging into unknown spaces, and there all these calendar squares crowding, like a stacking, like a piling, like everything running hard into each other.
They say that there are real people who get up early and pull on running shoes and do just that, run, run down to the corner and turn and keep going until the sweat beads like a fiery crowning and their lungs heave till they might actually explode and it’s possible to feel like this is really the exercise of your life.
I had told my mother that once:
Your whole life can feel like you are running for your very life, like you are trying to out run a tsunami of stress.
Trying to stay ahead of everything that’s nipping hard at your heels. Whole decades can be marked by exhaustion.
The pastor had preached it and I had sat there between the Farmer and the kids and tried to keep my mind focused on the words and not the whirl of to-do lists in my head. He had had us stand and recite Psalm 23. Had us say it right out loud: Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue all the days of my life.
He said that you can think goodness and mercy just follow you, but the Hebrew word for ‘follow’ is‘radaph’ and it means to “to pursue, to run after, to chase” or, quite literally, “to hunt you down”. The word radaph, that one that goodness and mercy is doing in Ps. 23:6, it is first found in Genesis 14, when Abram discovers that his nephew Lot has been kidnapped and Abram gathers an army of 318 men and “pursued them unto Dan” (Genesis 14:14). The word ‘pursued’ there? It’s is ‘radaph’.
I come home from Sunday sermon and write it in white on the blackboard. Radaph!
I was just about to give up today. I was just about ready to say “forget it, I quit this hopeful thinking.”
And yet, while I run from my hurts, Jesus is right there running, pursuing me. Radaph. May we recognize our pursuer today. You and me, together.