In healthy attachment relationships between a child and a primary caregiver, the caregiver watches over the child, providing for, helping, directing, setting appropriate limits when necessary, and providing comfort and empathy when the child is upset. As children get older and assume more independence, some parents and caregivers still hover. Not in extremes that stifle positive growth and development, but with prudent care for their children’s overall well-being.
These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on the words of the Psalmist, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139:7-12, KJV). In other words, there is nowhere that I can go that you cannot see me; that your eyes are not hovering over me. For some, this is a frightening thought! Does it mean that God sees us when we are not at our best? When we are making decisions that are inconsistent with His will? When our defeats are more than our victories and our valley experiences surpass our mountaintop moments? Yes, He sees it all.
However, God’s intent is not that of an intimidating authoritarian father; one who is ready to punish our every misstep or force His way upon us. Instead, He watches over us, more times than not soliciting our cooperation to accomplish His will and purposes in and for our lives. As the Ultimate Parent, His heart is grieved at some of our choices. The times we insist on having our own way, He stands ready to pick up the pieces when we hit the proverbial brick wall. He is there to walk with us through life’s challenging moments. We have no need to fear because His presence, along with His rod and staff, provides much-needed comfort (Psalm 23:4).
Above all else, His abiding presence enables us to delight in continued fellowship with Him. No matter where we are, we can talk to, relate with, meditate on, call upon, praise, worship, and glorify Him. I am never out of His sight, I am never out of His care. Neither are you. I would not want it any other way. Would you?