What Children Teach Us About Desiring God
Early one morning I was awakened by a thud. Sleepily, I rolled out of bed, only to find our oldest asleep on the floor against the dresser. At some point during the night she came into our room and fell asleep. I carefully picked her up and carried her back to her bed.
For a couple of months Annabelle went through a phase of coming to our room during the night. Sometimes she would just sit outside the door. Other times she would ask for water. Still other times she would say nothing and I would carry her back to bed. As annoying as it is to be disturbed from sound sleep, these moments bring a smile to my face. More than anything else, our daughters want to be with us, even if it means laying on the hard floor.
This simple experience called to mind Psalm 84:10, “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.” In Psalm 27:4 David expressed a similar desire, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to seek him in his temple.”
To have one desire, only one ask of God and these writers chose to seek the Lord’s presence. What would it take for us to have that same desire? I long for many things but unfortunately the Lord’s presence does not always top the list. There were times that David neglected basic needs because he wanted to be with God more than satisfying those needs.
One of the amazing gifts of the Holy Spirit is that he lives inside of those who are Christ followers. So yes, we can commune with and hear from the Lord as we go about our day; this should certainly be our lifestyle. But these psalmists express something even deeper-a longing, a yearning to stop everything else and be in the presence of God.
We see evidence of the same desire in the life of Jesus. He would often spend hours praying, sometimes all night. Jesus knew that being with his Father would bring strength like no physical act can.
So I ask the question again: What would it take for us to have a similar desire? Obviously I cannot answer that for everyone. But I do know that in many cases we want what we consume. The more we eat cake, the more we want cake. The more we stay active, the more we want to stay active. The more we watch Netflix…oh, you know you do it, too. 🙂 The more we invest in people, the more we want to invest in people. And the more time we spend with God, the more time we want to spend with God.
Just like Annabelle desired to be in the presence of her parents, I want a desire to be in the presence of my heavenly Father. She didn’t overthink it and wait for the perfect moment; she wanted her dad and mom and went to them. Let’s not make it complicated. Start spending time in the Lord’s house, seeking his beauty and waiting with eager expectations for an increased desire for Him. Because the truth is, one day in the Lord’s presence is better than a thousand elsewhere.