We had this beagle named Freckles.
Freckles was a great dog. She nurtured kittens and visited neighbors. She played with growing toddlers and searched out lost bunnies. She nuzzled her way into the heart of our family.
But Freckles’ great love was trailing. She would periodically escape the confines of the yard and take off on her own adventures through the woods. We would try to find her and bring her back, but all we could hear was her voice echoing her chase through the pines. She had caught the scent of a deer or some other interesting animal, and she was in her element. She might be ready to drop, tongue lolling, fir matted with burrs, but we could not deter her from her quest. She was all in.
When I read Psalm 63, I see Freckles’ name where I have penciled it beside verse eight. That is because I see her when I read the words “followeth hard”. She followed hard after anything she trailed.
Psalm 63:8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
David followed hard after God. Some Bible versions translate this as “cling to” or “follow close behind”, but I like thinking of following hard after God. I understand that picture – thanks to Freckles.
What does it mean to follow hard after God? In this psalm, David praised God’s lovingkindness and His help. He talked of thirsting for God as a traveler in the desert thirsts for water. He meditated on God. He praised God with joyful lips. He remembered how God had kept him, and David wanted to know God above all else.
When I truly get a glimpse of who God is, all else will pale in the light of His glory. Nothing – no. thing. – in this life will keep me from praising Him, from seeking Him, from finding joy in Him, from following Him. I will not be stopped.
Sometimes roadblocks pop up when I pursue God.
- my desire for comfort
- my expectation that God will do things my way
- persecution, which may look like ridicule or dismissal
When I pursue Him with my whole heart, however, I can move through painful circumstances because my eyes are fixed on the goal – HIM!
So, I want to be like Freckles on a scent. I want to follow hard after God. If you hear my voice raised in praise, just know I am on God’s trail. I will not be stopped.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Photo: Courtesy of Pexels
A Good Listen – The Chasing Song by Andrew Peterson