October 26, 2018 • Life for Leaders
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
“You’re surrounded!” This phrase brings back memories of my childhood. On Saturday afternoons, I’d watch cops-and-robbers movies on our black-and-white Motorola television. Inevitably, at some point, the criminals would be holed up in some battered-down building. The cops would yell: “Come out with your hands up! You’re surrounded!” Being surrounded wasn’t a good thing for bad guys.
But we’re not the bad guys. For us, it’s good to be surrounded.
Psalm 125 envisions Jerusalem circled with mountains, seeing in that image a picture of God’s presence and protection: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore” (125:2). In this case, the announcement “You’re surrounded!” is good news. It means: “You are surrounded by God. He will protect you. He will always be with you. You are safe because you are surrounded.”
I know how it feels to be surrounded by mountains. One of my favorite places in the world lies in the Sierra Nevada range of California. Little Lakes Valley is ringed with soaring, snow-capped peaks. In this valley, one feels enveloped in the strength and beauty of the mountains, a moving reminder of God’s own strength and beauty. (Click here for a photo of Little Lakes Valley.)
Do you need to feel surrounded by God today? Do you need reassurance of his presence and strength? Do you need to know that God will protect you, that your life is in his mighty, tender hands? Remember, even as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, including you.
Something to Think About:
When have you felt surrounded by God’s loving presence?
What difference might it make in your life if you were to live with the assurance of God’s consistent protection?
What helps you to feel “surrounded” by God?
Something to Do:
Take a few moments to be quiet. Picture yourself surrounded by God, by God’s love, strength, safety, and grace. Consider what you feel when you’re surrounded by God.
Gracious God, thank you for the promise of Psalm 125 and for the image of being surrounded by you even as Jerusalem is surrounded by mountains. What a reassuring and comforting picture!
Help me, Lord, to live each day with confidence in you. May I know that you are surrounding me, even when circumstances make me feel vulnerable and unsafe. Help me to trust in your presence and protection.
I think of people in my life who need to know that you are surrounding them today. So I bring before you… [fill in the names of those you’re praying for]. May they feel secure in your presence. Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Best of Daily Reflections: Does the Lord Really Keep Us from All Harm?
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.