July 5, 2011
How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Psalm 84:1-2 (KJV)
Tim Rutkowski, prosecutor for Michigan's Huron County, doesn't often bring charges against seven-year-old boys.
No, he doesn't do it often, but that doesn't mean he doesn't do it at all.
As proof, I point you to a unique event that took place a few weeks ago when, as a caring civil servant, he charged a little boy with the unlawful use of a vehicle. In this case the vehicle was the family car. Hitting speeds of more than 50 miles per hour, the boy drove more than 20 miles before the police stopped him.
The officers who were there said that when they looked into the vehicle, the lad was crying. The boy, who is being raised by his mother and a foster father, kept saying, "I want to go to my dad's."
So strong was the boy's desire to be with his dad, the county prosecutor wanted to make sure nothing was wrong in his home. That's why he filed the charges.
Now you know and I know that little boy was wrong and foolish. Along with many other mistakes he had endangered his life and that of others. Yes, the boy did many things wrong, but he did one thing right: he had an overwhelming, all-consuming desire to see and be with his father.
It occurs to me the Psalmist was describing the same kind of intense relationship with the Lord when he wrote the verse that serves as the theme for our devotion. He said, "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."
When I read that verse I wondered how many people really feel that way about the Lord. Reluctantly, I think the percentage is probably pretty small.
And although there are probably many reasons, one of the greatest difficulties is most folks seldom stop to think about what the Lord has done for them. The Father's love which reaches out to disobedient sinners, the Savior's blood-sealed sacrifice which pays the price to buy us back from our abductors, the Holy Spirit's patient calling and continuous encouragement are all obvious signs of God's great grace.
Every day in a multitude of ways the Lord shows the intensity of His caring. At the same time, through difficulties, intrusions, pains, challenges and seductions, the world tries to cloud and cover that grace so we don't see it, so our souls don't long for God's love.
This is why this Daily Devotion encourages you to take a few moments and see if you -- like the little boy -- want to be with your Father, Your Savior, the Spirit. If you do not yearn to be with the Person who loves you more than anyone, then take some time to remember and consider His faithful, ongoing gifts to you.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me appreciate all You have done to save me. Accept this gratitude and let my thankfulness daily increase. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries