Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere

Psalm 84:10

I’ve sang those words, read them multiple times, and always associated them with being in a worship setting with lots of people…like church.  And I’m sure that’s a good place to be.  But recently, this verse popped up in my head in a whole new light.

I’m a person with a mind that races.  It’s always active, hardly ever rests, and therefore I accomplish a lot…and also become weary a lot. An active mind is good and healthy in some respects, but it can operate on overload and kill a day’s joy in another.

Lately, my mind has been full and occupied with thoughts about the virus, the protesting, the injustice in the world, and the future of friendships, relationships, schools, churches, and you name it – I’ve thought about it.   It’s not that thinking about all of that can do anything constructive, but it’s just that my mind runs like a ticker tape, on a never ending spool…

Then one afternoon, this verse emerged in my memory.

One day in his courts is better than a thousand days outside of his courts.

Just where are his courts? That’s the question, and here’s the answer:

In Chapter 84, we read that his dwelling place is lovely…these courts of the Lord.  It’s where birds can have their young without fear of an enemy swooping to steal and take away.  It’s near Him, it’s His house, and it’s where praises are being poured out.  His courts are where people are strengthened, over and over again, and prayers are going up constantly.

In other words, these courts are His presence.

It’s better to experience one day in his presence than thousands of days outside it.

Like a lightbulb, my mind stopped ticking.  If I could slow down and just choose one thought of praise to my Father, rather than 1000 thoughts of the “what-ifs” and “oh-mys,” I just might find myself in a better frame of mind and soul. 

In verse 11 we are reminded that God is a sun and shield, and he withholds nothing from those who walk with him blameless, trusting in Him.

When my mind steps out of the courts of praise and into the land of a thousand laments, I find myself drowning.  I fail to see His protection for me and my house, I begin to grow weary and weak, and prayers are suppressed and replaced with complaints. 

And I forget…that one day in his presence…praising Him…is better than all the thoughts I can worry about or swim in, in a single day.

Why do I constantly wander in the forest of my mind through scary passageways, among thorny limbs, and among dark paths…when there’s an oasis in the clearing calling my name to come and drink.

I want to always choose better. 

Did you know there’s another verse that says one can put 1000 to flight?  Yeah, I’m not sure it refers to this example, but I’m thinking one good thought of praise to Him can put my 1000 bad thoughts to flight until they vanish.

Thank you, God, for your Word and your Truth.

1000's Elsewhere
by Marcy Lytle

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