(Psalm 18:19 NIVUK)
This scripture has always found an easy place in my heart and imagination, ever since I heard Wiley Beveridge sing his song 'A Larger Place' based on Psalm 18.
For me it evokes a whole range of possibilities, opportunities and a great sense of belonging.
I suppose if your are agoraphobic the image may not be quite as helpful, although, even then, once we make the leap from the awful literal and 'fact' based view of a text that so often stifles to the richness of the imagery and the truth it contains we can perhaps see how it is particularly applicable.
I am sometimes dismayed at how often I find myself locked into a small, constraining and often dark place, a prison, usually of my own making. However, when by his grace I turn to His word I see His intent is to throw open the gates, to lead me to a place that is open and free, a place that fills me with hope and vision and beauty, then I hunger for the larger place.
Whenever I struggle to see beyond the immediate, struggle to think further than the short term challenges and simply cannot see beyond the limited horizons of my own shortcomings or my inadequate ability and gifting, the larger place is where God allows and enables me to see a broad, deep and compelling vista. I see the view that becomes a destination,a vision that instills passion and a space that gives opportunities and options.
God takes me by the hand and guides me around the next corner, or up the next incline or through the arid stretch of desert and presents me with a place of awesome beauty, where His presence is once again the very substance of everything I am aware of. There, in a larger place, I am once again renewed. A renewed commitment to faithfulness, a renewed direction of travel, a renewed and revitalised heart, mind and Spirit. I am refocused to move forward, towards and beyond the horizon, to step into His plan for me.
Rescued from the place of limited vision, of lacklustre expectation and from spiritual myopia.
And why does God do all of this, so regularly, for one who so consistently let's Him down?
Because, the Psalmist says, "He delights in me".
Now why on earth would He do that?