I have been talking to you since I was a little girl
So many sweet memories of giving you my world

You are wonderful – a friend to the weary
You have been so faithful – your goodness follows me
You are beautiful your love is neverending

I was just wondering today how over all these years
You’ve carried so many cares
Calmed so many fears

You are wonderful – a friend to the weary
You have been so faithful – your goodness follows me
You are beautiful your love is neverending

-You Are Wonderful by Sara Groves –

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

As I was listening to the song above by Sara Groves, I was struck by that word follow. I looked it up in the Hebrew and although it was what I was expecting, it still excited me. The Hebrew word is râdaph and means “to run or follow after, to pursue, to hunt or chase.” God is pursuing us! He will not stop or slow – and although we do not realize it. But what is His intent?

There’s a story that goes like this: A rabbi once stopped a member of the congregation and said, “Whenever I see you, you’re always in a hurry.  You’re always rushing somewhere.  Tell me, what are you running after all the time?”  The man answers, “I’m running after success.  I’m running after prosperity, I’m running to make a good living.”

The rabbi responds, “That’s a good answer, if you assume that all those rewards are out ahead of you.  But what if the rewards are behind you?   What if they are looking for you, pursuing you, following you.  But they can never find you because you’re running away from them. What if God has all sorts of wonderful gifts to give you, but you’re never home when God comes looking for you. So God can’t deliver the gifts to you – you’re not available.”

Goodness and mercy shall follow me. The word used here is hesed. (which oddly enough I used in my Nano novel! =) It means love, but more specifically a covenant love. Sometimes it’s interpreted as “loving kindness” or “steadfast love” or, as here, “mercy”. It’s the word used in Hosea, as well as the love  God promises to His people. It’s a love within the context of a relationship.

God is your Husband, your Father, your Good Shepherd. He is pursuing you with His kind, steadfast, merciful love. Turn around and receive.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

– Psalms 23 –