“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises.” Psalm 84:1-4
Every spring a small bird called an Eastern Phoebe begins building a nest under the covering of our front porch. There is shallow ledge a few inches from the ceiling in each porch corner and it has become an annual event for this small bird to begin showing up several times a day seemingly to decide which corner to begin building a nest. There are a lot of other things that occur in our home, small groups, counseling, fellowships, missionaries who visit from different parts of the world, and visiting family. Yet even the Flycatcher finds a home and raises her young on our porch.
Perhaps the heart of the psalmist was captured by a similar notion or scene for the house of the Lord. He recalls the internal loveliness and joy he experiences when he is there and longs to not only visit, but to abide even in the most insignificant of locations within it just to experience the presence of God continually. “Oh to even be a small bird that might find a place of habitation in Your house.”
Oh Lord, Your word reveals that there is joy in Your presence. Your tabernacle is now in the hearts of those You have redeemed. May I abide in the life of Your manifest presence. Amen.