“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
When I was a little girl I dreamed of being pursued by a handsome hero. I read a lot of books while growing up (still do). Reading allowed me to be a strong, courageous, outgoing, witty girl who rescues victims and is courted by a perfect guy. I dreamed of being pursued not because I was a damsel in distress, but because the man saw me as spirited with a touch of sophistication, beautiful but bold.
As I grew older I wanted to be pursued, but often I took the role of pursuer. On the balmy May evening that I met my husband, I saw him across the marina and noticed his beautiful…legs. Yes, ladies, I liked his legs! So I walked up and introduced myself and followed him around all evening to make sure he talked to me.
I pursued him.
So glad I was that bold, spirited girl or I might have missed my chance with the love of my lifetime.
At times in the past I often wondered what it would feel like to be pursued. And, if I’m honest, I felt a bit cheated.
But then I realized I was and continue to be pursued on a level greater than my husband could ever reach.
God was in pursuit of me since the beginning of time. He saw me in a crowd of billions and said, “I want her.”
And He pursued me.
God didn’t wait until I came close to Him. He didn’t wait until I was perfect. He came after me when I was turned away from Him. He lovingly and gently drew me to himself and welcomed me without judgment.
And He continues to pursue me.
He comes to me in the storms of life when I’m turned away by fear, frustration, guilt. He doesn’t wait until I’m perfect to call me to my purpose. He draws me gently and lovingly to himself and holds on tight.
And He pursues you.
He loves you and wants to have an intimate relationship with you. He is in love with you and draws near to you now. Not when you’re perfect. Not only when you turn to Him. He is pursuing you now, calling your name, wanting to lavish you with His abundant love.
After my husband and I were dating a while I wondered if he would run the other way when he discovered the many ugly things about me. Instead of running, he embraced the messiness because he saw all the goodness in me that I was blinded to.
Jesus does the same thing. In the midst of our yucky mess he comes to us instead of running the other way. Matthew 14:24-27 documents how Jesus walked on water toward the disciples in the middle of a very ugly storm.
“Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’ But Jesus spoke to them at once, ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’”
Naturally we focus on Jesus walking on water – as we should. But I get excited that Jesus came to the disciples in the middle of their messy storm.
And He does the same with us. In the middle of our mess, Jesus walks to us. While the storms of life are beating us down and we are fighting to just survive, Jesus comes to us.
Verse 32 says that when Jesus climbed into the boat, the storm stopped. Not only did He walk to them during their storm, He climbed into the middle of it with them. And when He did, the storm stopped.
Jesus climbs into our lives promising that He will ride out the bad with us. He moves into all the spaces of our lives – good or bad – and makes himself at home, if we let him. Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here!”
God’s unfailing love pursues us all the days of our lives. Always pursuing. Always loving. Always coming to us…no matter what.
You, my friend, are pursued.