I am running. Running, and running, and running. The intense kind of running. Faster than a sprint, but longer than a marathon. For years, I've been running. The ground I cover begins to look familiar, and I wonder if I've been here before.
I am running from myself. From everything I've ever done and ever will do that constantly separates me from joy. If I keep running, maybe I'll find it. Joy. Maybe I can outrun my past and find a whole new world. I think I'm strong enough to do it. But my actions keep chasing me, and they're gaining on me. I don't know what to do.
I'm drowning. Drowning in a sea of evil. Lies, hate, lust, envy...they consume me and begin to swallow me. I am about to die.
Someone, standing on the shore, is watching me. "HELP," I scream. She shakes her head sympathetically. She's been her before, but she can't help. She points to something I've never seen before.
All my life, I have been running in circles around a hill. I have never stopped to look to the top of the hill, at what's been there all along. This girl points her finger, and I look to the top of the hill.
I fling away the suffocating waters and desperately run up the hill. The climb is surprisingly easy; nothing compared to the run I've endured. At the top of the hill, at the foot of the cross, I find the best thing I possibly could have found. Open arms. I am rescued. I am treasured. I am loved.
I weep tears of exhaustion, then turn to tears of joy. I have found my home. I will never leave the foot of the cross.
I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.