“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 dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
(Psalm 84:10, ESV)
Can I address the elephant in the room? There are times in my life where I feel as if I am on a journey through a spiritual drought. Seasons where I feel as if I have earplugs in during my daily time with The Lord. Phases, where—to use a biblical metaphor—I’m just not standing on the mount of transfiguration. Sometimes these seasons happen. You know it, I know it; it’s a normal thing to experience in the Christian life. Let me tell you what you already know: Acknowledging that you’re in that season is the easy part, it’s finding your way out that is often challenging. Disclaimer: I’m not about to hand you an all-encompassing spiritual compass, but I do want to ask a question that may point your feet in the right direction.
Do you really believe the first sentence of the verse above? Let’s think deeply about our answer. How long is a thousand days? A little more than three years. You can almost earn a college degree in that amount of time. You could pay off a car loan. Think about where you were three years ago to the day: in your profession, in your marriage, in life in general. You get the point—You could be really productive with a thousand days. You could accomplish some major life goals in a thousand days. Now consider what the sons of Korah are singing in the 84thPsalm: A day in your courts(that is in the presence of the Lord) is better than a thousand elsewhere. One moment in the presence of The Lord is more productive for you, as an individual, than three years’ worth of any achievement you can name. I’ll address the hippopotamus in the room now: Do you really believe that?
If your answer to that question is not an emphatic yes—then your feet are pointed in a direction that is heading deeper into the wilderness. It may seem elementary, but often it’s the elementary things that we need reminded of. Perhaps the reason that you feel like your prayer closet has become a desert is because you enter it thinking about everything else that you could be accomplishing in that moment. When you enter in the closet with a begrudging heart you are expressing the exact opposite of this verse—“A thousand days elsewhere is better than this moment.” Until you change that perspective, don’t expect to leave the desert.
Here’s some practical tips that may help with that attitude adjustment in the prayer closet:
- Start your quiet time by confessing to The Lord that this moment with Him is truly the greatest moment of your day.
- Be willing to sacrifice time, either by getting up extra early or by taking off some tasks from your daily schedule, in exchange for 30 extra minutes with The Lord.
- Remember: Boxes are burdensome, but gifts are gracious. This time of daily Bible reading and prayer is not a box to check off, but a glorious and gracious invitation to know the living God.
Next time I hope to expound on this verse by exploring the second sentence and the sons of Korah. Make sure to subscribe below with email!