“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6, ESV)
Max Lucado tells a story about a mother and her first grade son, Timmy. She became worried when Timmy wanted to walk to school by himself.
The mother wasn’t sure it was a good idea. But Timmy thought it would be okay. After all, he walked with a friend.
To ease her own conscience, the mother came up with a solution which would make her feel better, and which would allow Timmy to maintain his sense of independence.
A neighbour walked her toddler every morning. Timmy’s mother asked if she would follow the boys to school to ensure they got their safe, but to do so at a distance so they wouldn’t notice. She agreed.
After a while the boys did in fact start to notice.
“Do you know who that woman is who follows us to school?” the boy asked.
“Sure,” Timmy answered. “That’s Shirley Goodnest and her daughter Marcy.”
“Shirley Goodnest and her daughter Marcy. My mother reads about them every day in the Twenty-third Psalm. She says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life.’ Guess I’ll have to get used to them.”*
It’s a cute story. It’s also an eternally helpful and comforting reminder that the goodness and mercy of God are following us as we walk through life. Or we could say that they pursue us.
Unlike Timmy and his friend, we might not always notice. But Psalm 23 tells us that this is so.
One day as followers of Christ we will look back on our lives and see how he has reached out to us and brought us back on the path time and time again. How much more trust and peace would we have if we made an effort to see it every day?
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life…”
–*Max Lucado, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear (Nashville: ThomasNelson, 2009), 131.
–“The Lord is my Shepherd. What does Psalm 23 mean for us today?” Sermon. Click here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.