Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Best Day by David Kitz

            Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the Psalms. Throughout Psalm 84 there is a longing to be with God—a desire to be close to Him. So we hear the Psalmist declare, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10).

            If you were to plan for the best day in your life, what would that day include? What would it look like? How and where would you spend your best day? Would the LORD be at the center of it all?
Choosing the path of love - Gatineau Park, QC
          Love is at the core of every special day. Think back to some of the best days of your life—days marked by joy and excitement. If you scratch beneath the surface of those days, you will find love at the core.

         We are in fact love starved people. We need it as much as the air we breathe. Experiments have shown that the unloved, un-caressed, unspoken to baby will die, even though all its physical needs are met. So when love comes to us, we celebrate it, frolic in it, and throw a party to announce it.

        Some of the best days of my life were falling-in-love days. To think someone loved me, simply wanted to be with me, well, it put a real bounce in my step. To be more accurate, it fried all my circuits. Thinking of her made me dreadfully forgetful. I would routinely forget what I was doing mid-task. I was noted for being calm and sedate. Now suddenly, I was doing outrageous, crazy things. Love has a special way of breaking down barriers, and freeing us from inhibitions. Real love is never rational; it doesn't make sense.

               We need love. We need to receive it. We need to give it.

            In Psalm 84, it was love that brought the psalmist to the House of God. It drew him like a magnet, pulled at his heart, tugged at his sleeve, and finally ushered him through the door. Love set him on this pilgrimage. It kept his weary feet moving mile after dreary mile. When he finally reached his goal—the object of his love—in wonder, we hear him exclaim, "How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God." 

            In reality Psalm 84 is a love poem. It's all about the psalmist's quest for love. These opening lines express it best. The psalmist is thirsting for a drink from heaven's Eternal Fount of Love. He yearns, faints and cries out for the living God. He expresses all this in what any poet would call the language of love. Here we see the psalmist as the love-starved lover in search of the Divine Love of his soul.

            As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:1-2).
Saskatchewan Sunset - Photo by Donald Adam

          This hunger and thirst for love, is in fact, a recurring theme throughout the Psalms, and indeed, all of Holy Scripture. Psalm 42 begins with these words.

        Best days are days spent in pursuit of love, with the one we love. We yearn for such times. This pursuit of love is what drives the sales of a thousand romance novel titles. It is the wellspring for a million songs. It powers a large part of the movie industry. It turns Valentine's Day into a global celebration.

            The psalmist was pursuing love with the one he loved—the LORD Almighty. Have you spent time pursuing him lately? Is a day spent with Him, something you yearn for? Or, are you embarrassed by the blatant language of love that the psalmist uses here? Do hymns of praise and worship choruses bore you?

            All true worship is an act of love. It extols the virtues of the one we love, and it delights in simply being together. It unites the worshipped with the worshipper.

            Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked (Psalm 84:10).

David Kitz is the author of Psalms Alive! a devotional study of the Psalms. 


1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Thank you David, for this wonderful meditation, so beautifully framed.
For me, it was both refreshing and enriching. ~~+~~

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