By Robert Halsey Pine
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.” (Psalm 84 NRSV).
Being with God is our best-spent time. That includes being a doorkeeper in His house if necessary. Let’s see if we can get this right. Any time that we spend with God in any capacity or condition is our best-spent time. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be sinless. We don’t have to be rich. We don’t have to be poor. We don’t have to be worthy. Our one and only decision is whether or not to seek the Lord.
We make our decision harder than it should be. We want to hold on to too many things that are of the natural world. We have things to hide or things we are ashamed of. We don’t want to make a full-time commitment. We are willing to struggle on our own strength rather than sign up with the team that is going to win. We are afraid of what the natural world will say if we turn to God. We don’t really want to change. We want to see if we can get by doing things our way without being noticed or caught up with.
The Lord God is our light and our protector. Whatever happens to us in our natural life should happen with God as our choice and source. He is always at our side, closer than an arm’s length. Many never see Him. Many ignore Him. The good news is that we need not fear anything with Him as our source in life. St. Paul said (Romans 8:38-39 NRSV), “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We can, however, prolong the agony if we refuse to turn to the Lord. Eventually we will wear down and God will have His way. Some will die instantly without a chance to rethink things. I know not what comes of these, but I know that our God is a loving and forgiving God. But who wants to live a hell on earth? Let our days be filled with the choirs of heaven singing, “O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.”
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.