A spacious place
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God. (Psalm 18:19–21 NIV)
I don’t think I’m claustrophobic, but I can readily imagine David’s relief when the living Lord led him from his cramped hiding place in the rocks and crags out to a spacious place. I love being out in the wide world of creation, and especially by the side of an ocean or a lake. The pounding surf provides a rich backdrop to the vast waters that stretch as far as the eye can see. Or the placid glass-like surface of the lake emulates peace. As I gaze out, I find deep rest and contentment.
Maybe that oceanside or lakeside view is one you behold regularly, but for me it is more of a rare treat. I have to seek the Lord’s spacious place in the stuff of daily life, such as in my light and sunny study in our Victorian vicarage, the freedom I feel after meeting a deadline, or my joy at glimpsing a bubble floating up outside my window, courtesy of our kids playing below.
And of course the most spacious place is in knowing the love and affirmation of our heavenly Father. Taking some images from Scripture, we are his beautiful one (Song of Songs 2:13), a lily among thorns (Song of Songs 2:2), and the apple of his eye (Psalm 17:8). Or as Moses said in blessing the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Whatever our circumstances, God will take us to a spacious place. As we look to him, we can leave behind the need to acquire more stuff, more deadlines or deals, or more friends on Facebook. He will comfort us in our grief and bind up our wounds. He reaches out through Jesus and says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Prayer: Father, I give you my fears, desires and dreams. Take me to your spacious place, that I might be set free to love and serve you.