Francis Thompson wrote a gripping poem that he called “The Hound of Heaven.” It reflected the torture of his life during the years he was running from God. At one time he had intended to be a priest but was deemed unqualified. Then he turned to his father’s medical profession but failed again. Angry and bitter, Thompson gave up on God.
From 1885 to 1888 he lived the life of a derelict on the streets of London, suffering the agony of an opium habit. Finally some friends snatched him from the pit of death and brought him to the God he had dreaded. Thompson was gloriously converted.
His poem is his testimony. As the hound pursues the hare, ever drawing nearer in the chase, so God pursues the fleeing soul.
No matter how far you’ve run from God, the “Hound of Heaven” is still chasing you. Just when you think you’ve eluded Him, you’ll discover that He’s still there. David, who wrote Psalm 139, knew he could not flee from God’s presence.
We sense His presence everywhere. It may be through the patience of a spouse, or the warm embrace of a friend when we expected to be shunned. But God is there.
It’s tiring to run from God. Perhaps you sense that He’s pursuing you. If you do, it’s time to stop running.
Relentless quest, this race for happiness;
Vain footsteps echo 'gainst a hollow soul;
What peace to cease—exchange our chase for God's
Relentless love that never lets us go! —Gustafson
No matter how far you've run from God, He's only a prayer away.