Sunday, July 4, 2010

Joy in His presence

I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord."
Psalm 122:1 (NIV)

I chuckled as I opened the bathroom door that led into my bedroom. There lay Sarah Marie Otis at the door's threshold. Greeting me with a soft "meow," she stood up and brushed tenderly against my leg as she sauntered through the open doorway. The tabby-tortoise cat then leaped to her spot on the bathroom ledge for what had become a daily habit and settled in to watch me as I finished dressing.

In that brief encounter, I was transported back 22 years to a time when my husband and I both held full-time jobs outside the home. Each morning as we dressed for work, our then two-year-old son would climb out of his bed, grab his favorite pillow and blanket, and strategically position himself on the hallway floor outside his daddy's bathroom.

"Well, hello, son," his father would say with a smile as he opened the lavatory door. Then for the next few minutes as he watched his dad complete a morning routine of shaving, brushing teeth, and styling hair, our young son rested in his daddy's presence.

Psalm 122 is part of the Psalms of Ascent, songs ancient Israelites sang as they traveled to the Jewish festivals in Jerusalem. On his arrival, the pilgrim is overwhelmed by the scene and occasion. With a full heart, he thinks back to the anticipation he had for the event and the excitement he feels being in the holy city.

Like that ancient traveler, I love church. I've never attended a perfect one; and no, something monumental doesn't happen every time I go. Still I am blessed. There is delight when I gather with others who love to praise God for His greatness. (Psalm 122:1) The encouragement, care and unity that occurs when believers meet together is motivating. (1 Corinthians 12:25) The instruction, edification and challenge that comes from the teaching of God's Word builds me up in spirit to tackle another tough Monday morning. (2 Timothy 4:2)

I wonder, however, at our Heavenly Father's delight when we simply choose to spend time with Him in the quietness of each new day. "Good morning, my child," I hear Him say in my heart. "I watched over you during the night. Not one thing will happen to you this day that I don't already know; for as I promised, I am with you always." And, then, I rest in His presence.

I pray you also find joy in His presence, dear friend.

Faithfully Following

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