This life we live has often been compared to a journey. As I was reading Psalm 119 recently I was reminded of that. The psalmist clings to the hope he finds in God’s word. Even in the midst of persecution, he writes, “my heart stands in awe of Your words.”
Later in that same stanza he writes, “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.” Implied here is the fact that life is often difficult, filled with things, events and even people who may cause us unease, pain and the temptation to stray from the truths we find in God’s word. In fact, in the final verse of this chapter the psalmist admits as much, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.”
As I read these words and thought about them and applied them to my own life I was reminded of a song by Michael Card from 1994, “Joy In The Journey.” I’m not sure what the exact inspiration for this song was, but it, for me at least, is consistent with some of the themes in Psalm 119.
Card sings, “There is a joy in the journey, there’s a light we can love on the way, there is a wonder and wildness to life, and freedom for those who obey.” God’s word is often referred to as a light, a lamp unto my feet, and certainly that’s evident in both this song and Psalm 119.
The obedience to God’s word, the awe we have for it provide us with freedom to enjoy each step of the journey we make through this life. And that joy is enhanced by the knowledge of what is to come. For the psalmist, writing from the other side of the cross, before Jesus had been revealed, God’s salvation is still a surety, “I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight.”
Michael Card put it like this, “Forget not the hope that’s before you, and never stop counting the cost. Remember the hopelessness when you were lost?”
Our path may be difficult at times, rocky and dark. Yet we no matter where on that road we find ourselves, there is always joy to be found.