You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.
When I want to be especially careful with my wallet, I will put it in my front pocket and put my hand in that pocket and on the wallet. It is safe and secure there, and I am very aware of its presence. This is the image of Psalm 139:5. We are hemmed in (in God’s pocket), and his hand is upon us. We are secure and God is keenly aware of our presence. We belong to God. We are his treasured possession.
In the middle of the stormy night a child may scurry to his parents’ bed. Being with mom and dad brings peace, security, and comfort. When we face stormy times, God’s presence does the same. His presence brings us peace. God is called the God of peace.
The presence of God in our lives, however, is not always appreciated. Too often we would rather have the gifts he gives more than the giver. Too seldom do we realize that God’s presence brings the truest peace, joy, and comfort. Sometimes we would rather depart from God’s presence so that we can entertain other pursuits. It’s easy to think of God’s presence as oppressive and limiting rather than freeing and liberating.
In those moments it is good that God hems us in and lays his hand upon us so that we are not removed from his presence. God’s faithful, loving, and gracious protection, and his perfect peace is a gift of his presence which we truly need. Thank God we are in his pocket.