“How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young— even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah.” Psalm 84:1–4
Psalm eighty-four is one of the most beautiful of the psalms. I believe that in any language it’s imagery would communicate the psalmist’s joy at being near to God in his house and his confidence in the care and provision he will receive from God.
Do you love being near to God? What are the places that you sense his presence most profoundly?
For the psalmist that wrote psalm eighty-four one of those places was the tabernacle of God. For many their home church has the same kind of feeling. When you’re there you know God is near. For others the place of greatest connection with God is some place closer to nature and with greater solitude. The truth is that God is with his people where ever we are. His presence never leaves us. Any feelings of greater or lesser connectedness are due to our personal emotions regarding the location and not any change in the reality of God’s presence.
Toward the end of the psalm the psalmist says, “the Lord God is a sun…”
Recently I learned a bit more about how important the sun is to our health. Nearly all the life on earth is fed by the sun either directly or indirectly through a process by which plants convert light energy into food energy called photosynthesis. In humans the light of the sun stimulates our skin to produce vitamin D, an essential nutrient. The light of the sun is also important for setting and maintaining proper waking and sleeping rhythms. In fact, insufficient light has been shown to interrupt healthy sleep cycles making it hard to fall asleep, sleep deep enough, and sleep long enough. Not getting enough quality sleep has been shown to produce several mental health problems some of them quite serious. If you’re finding it difficult getting quality sleep you might try getting 30-60 minutes of exposure to the sun’s light each day. The closer the exposure is to when you wake up appears to be the most effective.
Revelation twenty-one tells us that in the city New Jerusalem there will be no need for the sun and the moon because the presence of God and the Lamb are all the light it needs. Think about it. God is all that is needed to sustain his creation. If we draw close to him he will provide for all our needs.
O Lord God you are a sun to us. You through your provision give us food and every other necessary thing. Your presence gives us peace. Your love gives us comfort and your mercy has provided us with forgiveness and salvation.