God Goes Before You and Follows You
“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5 (NLT)
My 4-year-old had become quite insistent about walking into school alone. He adamantly declared that he could go from the parking lot to the school by himself. But I knew that an independent, spirited preschooler and a busy parking lot did not mix. Griffin couldn’t understand why I had to walk with him. Trying not to extinguish his self-sufficient spirit, I came up with a plan that ensured his safety and still let him think he was walking by himself.
Upon arriving in the school parking lot, he would unbuckle, put on his backpack, get out of the van and wait for me. Together, we looked for cars and decided whether it was safe to cross. While I remained next to the van, he crossed the parking lot. Little did he know that I kept my eyes on him the whole time and quickly followed at a distance — far enough behind so he didn’t see me.
My son thought he was "the stuff." It was wonderful to see his confidence soar. He followed the same path each day, and I protected him without his knowledge.
Our heavenly Father walks behind us, too. Psalm 139:5 reminds us,“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”
In moments of confusion and busyness, God knows which way we are going and is there to protect us — even when we can’t see Him, just as I protected my son without his knowledge.
Whether you’re waiting in a doctor’s office, at work, riding the bus or sitting at home — God has made a way for you to get through the diagnosis, project, busyness, and responsibilities. Whatever you face today, God has already gone before you and will guard you from behind.
This truth is especially comforting to me as my children grow up. We can’t always stand in the “parking lot” of life and watch our kids everywhere they go. But we can trust that their heavenly Father is there with them, leading the way and bringing up the rear. Whether they’re facing a tough exam, driving for the first time alone or dealing with a bully at school, God is with them.
In the circumstances that surround you and your kids today, in the events that are scheduled on your calendar, take comfort in knowing God is there. He has gone before you — and your children — and follows you, too.
Lord, thank You for this tender reminder that You are always with me. Forgive me for foolishly carrying the weight of my path, forgetting that Your guiding hand is always upon me. Help me guide my children in this path as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 121:8, “The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (ESV)
Psalm 139:7-10, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall 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 dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (ESV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Make a point to pray out loud with your children each day, giving thanks to the Lord for going before and following them.
Why not work in tandem with the Lord and “go before” someone this week by sending a card, making a meal or offering to babysit for them?
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