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July 4, 2020

Ann Farabee column — Who’s following you?

By Ann Farabee
For the Salisbury Post

Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? Me, too. I balanced myself for a second — and my mother let go. I kept going, the wind in my face, completely free. But the driveway was about to end, my bike began to wobble, and fear set in. The crash was coming. That is when I realized I had been followed by my mother — the entire 10 seconds. She grabbed the bike just in the nick of time to keep me from falling.

I remember my little ones learning to walk, as I followed along behind them, hunched over, leaning down toward them in order to catch them if they fell.

I remember my children a few years later, walking excitedly around an amusement park, becoming oblivious to the fact that they needed to stay with me. When they realized they had walked away from me, they looked back, fearful that they were lost. But, I had been following them the entire time.

These were special times — my mother following me — and me following my children.

But they pale in comparison to the promise of being followed in Psalm 23:6.

For it says:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Just for us — I am going to break the verse down, so we can savor every ounce of it:

Surely — surely means we are believing with assurance and confidence that what is being said is true. How in the world could anyone doubt it?

Goodness — God is not only good, but is good to us. He helps us avoid evil. He helps us when we begin to wobble or fall, and supports us when problems arise. He surrounds us withgoodness.

And — not only is there goodness, but there is goodness and mercy. And joins them to let us know we can have both.

Mercy — mercy is compassion and forgiveness. It delivers us. It comforts us. It restores us. Our sin is not greater than God’s mercy. Does it ever run out? No, it is new every morning.

Shall — shall means it is inevitable that it will happen.

Follow — when one follows someone, that means they travel behind them, run after them, or pursue them. Goodness and mercy are following us.

Me — me means me — and you.

All the days of my life — all means all — in all the days — and in all the seasons — of our lives.

God sends goodness and mercy to follow us — because we are his children.

Being followed by goodness.

Being followed by mercy.

For how long?

All the days of our lives.

That’s a promise we can cling to.

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