Ut migraturus habita


Psa. 39:12        “Hear my prayer, O LORD,
        and give ear to my cry;
        do not hold your peace at my tears.
    For I am your passing guest,
        an alien, like all my forebears.
13     Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
        before I depart and am no more.”


The Latin phrase  “ut migraturus habita” is translated, live as if you were about to move. David knew this kind of life from personal experience. He cries out to God to hear his prayer for he is constantly living as if he were about to move. He has been an alien in the land and yet continually went to the LORD for refuge. Now, he begins to ponder his final journey. The LORD has loved his “aliens” — those who have sojourned in the land. God will provide protection for those who continue the journey, even to the very end of life.


The Christian walk is a journey, one in which we are in continual motion, moving toward the final goal. We are to live every single day, as if we were about to move. We are to live as aliens or refugees in the land, only carrying with us that which we need for the day. When we linger too long in one location we put down roots which may keep us from being ready to move when God calls.

God’s promise is one of provision for those who will sojourn with him. Just as the manna was provided on a daily basis in the wilderness so those who journey with the Lord will experience his faithful provision. We are God’s passing guest, and as such he will be with us and walk with us, hand in hand, for the duration of our visit. Weeping along the journey, the LORD comes and brings his peace.

We don’t know what tomorrow will hold and so we live today as if we were about to move. It may be our final journey but if we have sojourned with the LORD, he will lead us by the hand and we will be comfortable for it will simply be another step in our journey with him.

LORD, I am your passing guest and I am grateful for your provision.  Amen.

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