Psalm 63:1-8 (ESV)
1O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.5My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
I once felt troubled by the verses "your love is better than life". These verses are in a song that we sing at church too. Whenever I heard it, I couldn't help thinking, "What could be better than life?". I couldn't help but think that sometimes it seems like a lot of Christians focus more on the afterlife than life here on earth, and that's the filter I looked through when I heard these verses. That it was minimizing in some way the beauty and gift of our life here on earth.
I was going through a difficult time spiritually. Some of you might be able to sympathize or relate, or perhaps you are going through such a time right now. When questions about God, about the Bible, about one's faith, seem to infinitely outnumber any of the answers that we might have. When the coldness and darkness of the world and our personal experiences in it has penetrated our thoughts so much that arising within us easily is cynisism and doubt and pushed down, far beneath the layers of our souls, is the simple childlike trust and faith that God calls us to have.
It was only after I sought God, with all my strength and heart and received the outpouring of His Spirit, and felt the peace that only He can provide-the peace that surpasses all understanding, that I began to understand those verses. God's love is His reality and it is infinite. God is outside of time and His love will continue on forever. His love for us is deep and intimate, for He has the love for us that a father has for a child, yet it's deeper because he doesn't carry with Him the emotional baggage our earthly fathers do that inhibits their perspective, experience and expressions of love.
When one opens themselves up to God's love and feels it thaw the most distant and hidden corners of one's soul, bringing with it hope and joy and peace, than these verses come alive. When the power and glory of God manifests itself in one's life then one truly knows what it's like to have one's soul be "satisfied as with fat and rich food."
God's love is transforming. And if one opens oneself up to the reality of God's love one can be continually transformed in the light and power of the Spirit. It enriches our lives and becomes our lives. God's love illuminates areas in our lives that need to be changed while giving us the strength to change them. God's love gives us the strength to face adversity and the endurance to pass through it unhindered. God's love gives us the courage to break the chains of the world that binds us to misery, grief and guilt. God's love is infinite and amazing...God's love is here with us during our earthly lives and with us forever throughout eternity. God's love is truly better than life!
No person could have convinced me of that truth. That was a matter I had to seek God on. I can't convince you of anything...but God can reveal this and many other truths to you if you've not yet experienced His peace and His love. Let's be seekers. Seekers of God's truth, of God's presence...let's ascend the hills to Mt. Zion, enter His holy sanctuary and lift up our hands and hearts in praise and bless His holy name. Let's bring glory to God!
Let's give thanks to God, during this special time of year of Advent, for the ultimate love He showed us-through giving this world His only son which they scorned and beat and ultimately hung on a cross. His only son, who became the means in which we could enter into God's love unhindered through the glorious grace of our Father.