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. Psalm 84:10
As I kissed her on her forehead and tucked her in, I heard my daughter Madison, who was a preschooler at the time, sit up and say, "Daddy...that day was the BEST!" She then proceeded to sigh, plop down and was out like a light. When I reflected on the past few hours, I wondered why of all days this one stuck out and brought her so much joy. We took a walk in the park, goofed around on the playground, "played" in the toy aisle at Target, and had dinner. Granted, we did eat Christian Chicken (aka Chick-Fil-A), but that wouldn't tip things over the edge.
Nothing grand or spectacular took place - just me and her going about our daily business. And that's when it clicked. What made her day was not WHAT she did, but who she was WITH. Her dad. She had my undivided attention. We laughed, talked, and giggled. Maddie knew without a shadow doubt that she mattered.
During those moments as an adult when I'm sizing up my day and tossing it in the good or bad category, I often lose sight of what truly matters. For me, a great day could mean the bills get paid, I get out of work early, there's no traffic on College Road, experiencing a few extra hours of sleep, or doing an activity I love.
I think if we closed our eyes and dreamed, we all could paint a picture of our ideal day. For as spectacular as that dream day might be, let's look at how Scripture compares it to something else. Go back and reread today's verse.
Scripture puts our supreme day in its proper perspective. One day in God's presence is better than a thousand of the pictures we just drew up in our mind. There is no comparison.
Being WITH God wins every single time.
But, here's the thing: that connection and intimacy is available to us right here and right now. As believers, the Holy Spirit resides WITHIN us. Christ walks by our side. God's presence goes WITH us anywhere we go.
When we remember and embrace this reality, we experience joy, peace, and purpose. He wants to know what's on our heart and mind. We are His priority, and He wants to come along for the ride, wherever we go.
Realizing He loves us make those imperfect days we have sting a little less. It reframes every circumstance we encounter. In the long run, it doesn't matter what we do or what we experience, but who we are WITH that matters in the end.
Where do you need to be reminded that God is with you in your situation?
What does it mean that God is WITH you always? How can you embrace His presence today?
God, each day You give me is a gift because it's an opportunity to step into Your love, explore my purpose, and spend time with You. May I remember through the cross, You destroyed every barrier that stood in the way of my connection with You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.