S44P4 – The blessings of the Psalms: God’s presence is reward enough

Psalm 84:3-4

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

This was the first match they would play. The new, young star would face a veteran of the game. Although not completely unexpected, the youngster would prevail. Afterward, the press had a million questions for her. One reporter asked her what it was like to beat one of her childhood idols and one of the greatest competitors in history. She said that it was a privilege just to share the court with someone she admired so much. Of course, winning the match and making it to the next round was huge. It was an important tournament, and this would mean a lot for her career. However, in that moment, there was something of value to be gained just from playing against someone incredible, win or lose. What she realized was that it was encouraging simply to be in the presence of greatness.

There are so many good things that we receive from our Father in heaven. If we were to make a list of all the gifts He bestows upon us, I would hope that we would make sure that his mere presence is on that list. We can thank God for giving us the manifestation of spiritual gifts and provision and favor. We can thank him for friends and family and our greater Church community. Yes, He gives us all these things. However, we cannot forget that simply being in his presence is a great blessing. This is because we can derive so much encouragement just from sharing a space with him. Like the young athlete who counts it a treasure to simply stand among the greats of the game, we should find encouragement from simply being in God’s presence.

If the Holy Spirit resides within us, then the presence of God should not leave us. He is here at all times. What may leave us is our acknowledgment of that presence. Today’s scripture tells us that we are blessed with being able to share a space with him. This does not merely begin once Jesus Christ returns but begins even now. Of course, standing in the presence of God after this order of things has passed will be much different. That does not negate the fact that we can remain and even abide in his presence at all times right now. Father, help us to remove the obstacles and hindrances that keep us from realizing your presence among us and within us at all times.