Friday, March 27, 2020:
One of my favorite benedictions that I have always appreciated that pastors use when sending off their congregations at the end of a church service is this: “May God go before you to lead you, go behind you to protect you, beneath you to support you and beside you to befriend you. Do not be afraid.”
Isaiah 45: 2 says, “I will go before you and level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” (New International Version)
Linda Bailey, author of a devotional entitled, “Before, Behind, Beneath, Beside” states in her writing that, “This understanding of God surrounding us completely is very comforting. To have a God who is our leader, protector, supporter and friend is greater than any other divinity that others give their lives to. While we don’t deserve this, God gives it to each of us freely.”
Bailey goes on to say that there are times when we don’t allow God to lead and we don’t lean on Him for protection. I always tend to have a sense of what I am actually saying in the Lord’s Prayer (rather than just going through it rotely) when it says, “Thy will be done”…. Due to my wanting to be in control of most things, I then want to follow it up by adding, “Buuuuttttt….. If you could just do this, that and this, that would be wonderful because I think that would be best.”
Bailey wraps up her own devotional on this by adding, “If we allow God to surround our whole lives then we will know we are heading in the right direction. He is behind us, before us, beneath us and beside us. We can deal with anything that comes our way when we are surrounded by (Him).
So, as we have been a part from each other for a couple of weeks now and as we continue to be a part of a while yet going forward, may we enjoy the gift of time in whatever we do, knowing that God is the constant in our lives who has gone before us. Let’s pray for His protection and guidance over us now.
Our dear Heavenly Father, we come before you at the start of this day, at the end of another week that we have been gifted with. We pray that you might keep each of us safe and in the protective hollow of your Almighty Hand as we have been a part from each other and continue to be for many weeks now. We thank you for each and every one of these students and the families and homes that they represent. Bring each and every one of us back safely at the appointed time. In Thy name alone we pray, Amen.