Desiring God Himself
by Pr. Dave Mann
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
This passage reveals the epitome of a heart that longs to know God, to have an intimate relationship with our Maker.
It is not uncommon for people to be enamored with the blessings of God more than with God himself. Indeed, God provides many good gifts:
peace in a time of turmoil,
healing in a time of sickness,
joy in a time of sadness,
prosperity in a time of need,
confidence in a time of doubt,
courage in a time of fear,
and much more.
But these verses of Psalm 84 come from a heart that longs for something else, something much deeper and more significant than the things that God gives. The psalmist is longing for God’s presence, for God himself.
Here is a description of an experience that is like a little taste of the feast represented by Psalm 84. Grandpa gives a book to a young grandchild. The child unwraps the book and jumps with it up into Grandpa’s lap, snuggles in, and asks him to read it to her. Oh, the joy in Grandpa’s heart! It wasn’t the book itself that was the delight of the child. The book was simply the means to develop the relationship between the two.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs.
Those who long for God himself more than God’s blessings know how to navigate through the difficult, dry times of life. Even when they are not yet in the physical courtyards of the Lord’s temple, they can experience the spiritual presence of God. All people have periods in which they pass through the proverbial Valley of Baca (meaning weeping). We may even be on our way to the temple in Jerusalem and still have reason to weep. But those who long for the Lord himself become springs of water to refresh others. Those who long for the Lord, those who desire him more than his blessings, share his joy with others even in dry times.
Back to the example of the grandchild snuggling in the lap of Grandpa…
There are others in the room with Grandpa and the child. They witnessed the precious moment as the child hops onto his lap. Not only were the child, and the grandpa blessed by the lovely experience, but all the onlookers were refreshed as well.
Heavenly Father, you are so, so generous with all your good gifts. Allow us to long for you beyond your gifts. After all, Jesus himself is the greatest gift of all.