“I come to the end — I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:18, NRSV)
There’s an invitation to give up everyday! In Psalm 139 it’s a kind of giving in to the grand, Holy realities of Almighty God. It’s a letting go. It’s a resting, finally, in the midst of everything else going on in the world, and in my own spirit, in God-things.
The writer (likely David) makes this grand, reflective list of all God’s ways, and this settles him down:
You know me…you know what I say and what I do…you search out my path…you know my thoughts even before they become words…You go before me, and follow after me, and your hand is on me…and then he pauses and reflects that “All these ways of yours are too much for me to understand.” Letting go, giving up, giving into the things of God.
But he’s just getting started! Continuing on…I can’t get away from your Spirit, your presence is everywhere — in heaven or hell, on the wings of a new dawn or at the farthest seashore — even there, everywhere you are holding onto me and protecting me. Even the darkness is as bright as day for you! It was you, God, who formed me, and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Pausing and reflecting again, “Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.” Letting go, giving up, giving into the things of God.
It is all these things together which overwhelm David in a wonderful way! I imagine him kind of throwing his arms up in the air and saying, “I Give Up!”, not from frustration, but with wonder, with joy and peace. As he writes, “How weighty are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them– they are more than the sand; I come to the end– I am still with you.”
If all these God-realities exists and persist, then the invitation for us is to let go, to give up everyday, to lose ourselves into the wonder of the presence of the Holy One — our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer– who is always with us, and who will never let us go. How much I’d like to engage these realities as I wake up and as I end the day closing my eyes, taking a Divine perspective into all the challenges of the day, of living, of life.
Well do we know the anxieties and challenges of these days! And so as I invest my own spirit in attaching the rhythm of my days to these wonderful God-things, I invite you too, as one day ends, and as another begins, to find the words and images of Psalm 139, and to let go, to give up again your life — past, present, and future– to the Good Lord who is holding onto you, and will never let you go.