“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Long Trip Alone
In the world of country music, Dierks Bentley is a bona fide star. But his talent goes beyond his voice and his performance. Dierks Bentley is a gifted songwriter known for crafting his lyrics with care.
Of the songs he’s written, one has a twist in how it came to be. The song is distinctive in tone. It is slow, thoughtful, somber. The title of the song is “Long Trip Alone.” As he began to write, Bentley had his marriage in mind. Picturing the years of his life as a journey, he intended to describe what it meant to have his spouse by his side. As he wrote, however, his perspective changed. By the time it matured into a finished piece, “Long Trip Alone” was no longer about a husband and wife. Rather, “Long Trip Alone” was about the quiet, desperate need each of us has for the presence of the Lord.
Indeed, as Bentley describes it, your life and mine is “A long trip alone, over sand and stone.” You know the hardships. You know the difficulties. You know the crushing disappointments. Left to ourselves, you and I would wander. We’d walk in circles. We’d stumble and fall. And as we did, the suffocating isolation would just grow worse until our pointlessness came to an end in some dark, despairing place.
That’s what sin does—your sin and mine. Not only has it made the journey of life rugged and painful. It isolates us. It forces each of us to walk the long trip alone—a trip that ends in eternal death.
But that’s why Jesus came. God’s Son became one of us. He took the long trip through this broken world, living a perfect life on our behalf. Then he carried our sins to the cross, where he endured an aloneness that will forever defy description—an aloneness he endured in our place. And because he has, you and I, through faith in him, will never have to walk alone again.
In Exodus 33, the Lord promised Moses, “My Presence will go with you.” In Christ, he makes the same promise to you and me.
Lord Jesus, my life would be a long trip alone. Thank you for being by my side. Amen.