Yearning

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God
.  – Psalm 84:1-2

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
– Psalm 84:10-12

Recently I was listening to a podcast where a missionary from the jungles of Peru shared a story about a villager who travelled all by himself to a local Bible convention. The man’s village was three miles away along the river! The missionary was amazed that the man would travel such a distance on the river, all by himself. The man said, “with every stroke of the oar, I said to myself, I’m going to be with the brothers, I’m going to be with the brothers, we are going to meet with God together and break bread.” The man had a yearning to be with his brothers in Christ. A dangerous three-day trip along the rivers in Peru was not going to stop him from meeting with his brothers in Christ.

Isn’t that an amazing testimony of someone who can’t wait to meet with the people of God? It pretty much makes me feel bad for those moments when I lay in bed and wonder about the short drive I have to church. Life gets busy and especially with summer time approaching our calendars can be filled with many exciting things. But there is something that our calendars should never be too busy for, and that is being in the presence of the living God.

The writer of Psalm 84 cannot get enough time with God; his soul yearns to be in the presence of God. He can’t get enough time with God; there is no place he would rather be. He would rather be a lowly doorkeeper in the Temple, than to dwell in the great tents of the wicked. Church is a place where we gather in God’s presence. We meet together and encourage one another to be stronger in the Lord. When we are not in the presence of the Lord, life can become draining and dreadful. My prayer is that we as a church yearn for meeting together much like the villager in Peru. That our cry would be, “I’m going to meet with my brothers and sisters and worship the living God!”