How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Recently, I have had some strange feelings. Feelings of homesickness even though I am not away from my home. I am feeling unsettled and distant from this world, my friends and my community. The longing in my heart for my heavenly home increases each and every day, a longing placed there by my Master. As I look around at the sin in the world I am heartbroken. I long for days of old, even further back than when I grew up. I know each generations has its fears and challenges but just a few decades ago, our children did not have to worry about school shootings and girls knew they were girls and boys knew they were boys. Fifty years ago the overall standard of morality was at a much higher level (or covered up to look good) and people actually cared. Today, anything goes for anyone. Even among believers, the lines between Christian freedom and moral license are very gray.
The words of Psalm 84 are so beautifully penned from the heart of a believer longing to experience the presence and glory of the Lord. In His courts we find security, protection and satisfaction. The worst job on the worst day in His presence is far better than the best day I can imagine on the most beautiful beach.
These words are speaking of an experience that I have a hard time imagining but they are also words to take comfort in while I am still in this world walking through day to day struggles and even more difficult times. I can walk away from reading this passage knowing in my weakest and darkest moments, God will sustain me with his strength. He is my shield and protector providing me with what I need at the very moment I need it. And ultimately, I am favored by him because of the blood of Jesus. I am anointed- a child of God! There isn’t anything that happens that isn’t for my good.
Dear Lord, create in me a true desire to long for a deeper relationship with you. May my heart and flesh cry out for you and sing for joy, Living God. You are my shield, protector and sustainer. I look forward to the day we meet face to face but what a joy and an honor to serve you while I wait expectantly. Amen.