Psalm 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”
“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me…” You’re probably familiar with St. Patrick’s famously quoted prayer. But did you know there’s more? He continues, “Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”
I would guess St. Patrick desired a pretty intimate relationship with the Lord. But not just St. Patrick. Is there anything more desirous for a follower of Christ than to be surrounded by him? Yet all too often we let “fallen life” interrupt our pursuit.
In Psalm 73 Asaph looks at the world and concludes it’s no use serving God. Those who reject God—the wicked, arrogant, and callous-hearted—keep winning while the righteous keep losing. The ungodly amass money; the godly amass pain. He perceived a world with an absentee God. A world devoid of any basis for hope, goodness and purity. But he wasn’t seeing clearly….
He became so focused on the evil, he no longer recognized the good. It wasn’t until he “entered the sanctuary of God” that his myopic eyes were opened to see the extent of God’s presence. God had abandoned neither him nor the world. Asaph’s heartfelt repentance rings through his song, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”
Have you ever been in Asaph’s camp? I know I have at times. That’s when I have to step back and remember. Remember all the times Jesus has been with me…before me…in me…. How he’s been my companion in the shadows, letting me discover grace I never thought I’d need. How he’s gone ahead of me, providing experiences beyond my wildest imagination. It makes me desire him even more.
How about you? Maybe this is a good time to remember all the times he’s there, by your side, on your side…like no other.
It’s no wonder we want to be surrounded with Jesus, is it? It’s no wonder.