Where is your favourite place to be? For some, it’s a crowded football stadium on a Saturday afternoon. For others, it’s a table surrounded by cherished faces on a special holiday. Still for others, it may be a restaurant where a man met his future wife, or a park bench that reminds a woman of turning around and seeing a beloved surprisingly take a knee. We all have special places that feel ‘home’ in a unique way. But is there one place that can be labelled the best place in the world? I think there is – at least for a Christian.
There is a forgotten hymn by Ray Palmer. The first two stanzas are as follows:
Jesus, these eyes have never seen
That radiant form of thine;
The veil of sense hangs dark between
Thy blessed face and mine.
I see thee not, I hear thee not,
Yet art thou oft with me;
And earth hath ne’er so dear a spot
As where I meet with thee.
All of us should pause and ponder the last two lines. Are they not true of every person who has seen and tasted the goodness of the Lord? Yes, there is something exhilarating about attending a sporting event or concert. Undoubtedly, sitting among friends and family at a table is one of the most joyful experiences of life. But, as good as these things are, they cannot compare to the sweet communion that a believing heart enjoys when Jesus makes himself present in a time of worship and devotion.
This indeed should be the driving motive for waking up for a quiet time. The goal of a morning devotion is not to get through another reading or to keep up a morning routine. The hope is to meet with Jesus. He may not always show up with equal radiance. There may even be dry seasons when we wonder if He is present at all. However, anyone who has tasted His love cannot help but keep returning to the place where he or she found Him in the expectation that He will soon be there again.
Another hymn touches upon the same point as follows:
Thy gifts, alas, cannot suffice
Unless Thyself be given;
Thy presence is my paradise,
And where Thou art is heaven.