Before – Beside – Behind

On our recent trip to Branson, we hadn’t left Lafayette long when we moved into hill country. In hill country, driving is exciting. The road rises and falls and and seems to be one turn after the other. Around every turn and over every hill, there are surprises. You may come across a breathtaking vista or just another set of twists and turns, so much like life.

These are really challenging days. It seems everyone I know is dealing with something. Not only that, but when one situation seems to settle down, another arises. Yesterday I finally was able to try a case in which I represent a friend. The case has been going on for five years. It’s been a real challenge. You always want to do a good job, but there is extra pressure when the client is a friend and there is much on the line. Just as I was approaching the top of the five-year old hill, I received a phone call that presented yet another troubling situation. I check the mail box every day for the next step in yet another challenge. Like the road to Branson, there are twists and turns, ups and downs and surprises past every bend in the road.

It was in this situation that I was encouraged by this graphic. “God never sends  you into a situation alone. God goes before  you. He stands beside you. He walks behind you. Whatever situation you have now, be confident. God is with you.”

Never alone.  All of our lives are unique. Sometimes they seem more unique than they are. That feeling that we are the only ones traveling our particular role can send us into fits of loneliness.  The state of loneliness is where Satan wants us. The banana that leaves the bunch is the first to get picked. Predators focus on those who drift from the herd or the flock. When that sense of loneliness begins to set in, fight it. God is with us always. He is with us spiritually and he is with us through our brothers and sisters. God is available to us in the physical presence of others who walk with Him. Through others we can put flesh to the God we know in our heads and spirits is present. 

Before you. When we say that God goes before us we mean that nothing we experience is foreign to God. He came as a man. He personally knows and has experienced every situation we face and every battle we fight. God going before us also means that he is in control of the situation. We are surrounded by Forces of evil surround us and humans who can exercise free will are everywhere. That doesn’t mean that God ever loses control over the situations his children are in. No matter how it looks or feels. No matter how many forces come against you in how many forms, God is there before you, sheltering, shielding and supporting.

Beside you.  In the worst moment God is right there. In fact, often his purpose in allowing this twisting and turning life, is to put us into situations which force us to seek Him and see Him work. God is always speaking to us and most of the time he is saying, “I am here.”

Walks behind. One of the frightening things about life situations is that we seem to leave a trail of destruction in our path. We worry that the mistakes we are making are leaving behind hurt and junk that can’t be fixed. God is behind us. He is there with a broom sweeping up our messes and cleaning up our mistakes. I don’t mean that there aren’t consequences for what we do. There certainly are, but particularly when we repent, God has awesome power to fix stuff. Even the messes we make.

Be confident. As I write this I am waiting for news of the birth of my great-grandson. He is loved by many before he even appears. We are imperfect lovers. God does it perfectly. If you are His child, He loves you and always has and always will. How can we be anything but confident? How can we be anything but fearless? The God who loves us, is with us.


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