You Number My Wanderings

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“You number my wanderings; put my tears into your bottle; are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8

There are times in life when we may feel alone. Perhaps your intentions were misunderstood by others and a lot trouble was caused because of it. Perhaps you or someone you loved has moved away. Maybe someone died. Maybe you are suffering and no one understands what you are going through so you feel you must bear a burden alone. However, no matter what happens and how alone you may feel, you can know you are never alone. And there is someone who not only understands whatever the situations is, but who can actually understand your feelings. That person is God.

David recounts God’s loving involvement and concern with the details of life.  “You number my wanderings; put my tears into your bottle; are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8 In Isaiah 63:7-9 the Bible says “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us—yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He said, ‘Surely they are my people, children who will be true to me’; and so he became their Savior. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”  

Now you might say, “but wait, you conveniently left out verse ten of the last text where it says, ‘Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.’” It is true that sometimes God Himself may bring judgment- although if we are honest with ourselves for most of us, but perhaps not for all, most of our suffering tends to be to the natural result of our own poor choices. But even if God Himself brings judgment the Bible says, “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:31-33

So even if God has a hand in our grief He isn’t indifferent to your pain and doesn’t want you to suffer any more than you need too. That is why David could say after he sinned in numbering Israel, “David said to Gad, ‘I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.’" 1 Chronicles 21:13

When you are distressed, God is distressed. God is not some ignorant bystander in the heavens indifferently eating popcorn and watching your distress for entertainment as if it is the latest TV drama. God loves you. You can rest assured that he cares for you and feels pain for you too.

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