Psalm 84 – Dwelling Place

I was reading a couple articles this week about how COVID 19 has affected a variety of different living patterns like how we shop, how/where we work and where we live.  Several of them were trying to predict which of the changes are temporary and will soon shift back to pre-COVID patterns, versus which changes have become a lasting “new normal”.  For the most part, there was consensus that WFH (Working From Home) is here to stay.  In other words, the authors predict the vast majority of employees who have successfully performed their job duties from home instead of the office this last year, are likely to have some level of increased freedom to work from home more often than they did before the pandemic.

Is that good or is that bad?  I guess it depends on your perspective.  For those of us associated with the single family residential real estate industry, the impact of the WFH shift has been overwhelmingly positive so far.  Nothing makes you want to remodel your outdated house, or move to an entirely new house that better fits your needs, more than having to stay at home 24 hours a day, every day!

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord (Psalm 84:1-2).

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (Psalm 84:10).

As I read our passage for today and pictured the Sons of Korah, or temple assistants, singing about the eternal home God is preparing for his followers, I couldn’t help but think about the emotional buying that has engulfed the residential real estate market over the past few months.  Because of record low inventory, home buyers have been willing to forgo house inspections, willing to waive appraisals, and even willing pay more than asking price to win the right to purchase a house.

Read verse Psalm 84:2 again – My soul years, even faints, for the courts of the Lord.  Can you feel a similar emotional longing?  While the Psalmist refers to the “dwelling place” and the “courts” of the Lord, he doesn’t really mean a physical structure like we picture a dwelling place or a home.  In reality, his longing is to dwell in the presence of the Lord.

In similar fashion, when you think of your home, is it the physical structure that brings out the emotion in you?  I doubt it.  While the physical structure may bring a level of safety and security, it is the people and relationships that actually give it meaning.  Can you think of the first place you lived with your spouse?  What about the room where you rocked you newborn back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning?  Or the kitchen table around which you shared meals with those you love night after night?  I’m guessing those memories stir some emotion in your heart, some longing for the people with whom you shared those physical spaces.

Family and friends with whom we can share our lives are a gift from God, and I am grateful for them.  But nothing, and no one, here on earth will ever compare to being in the presence of God for eternity.  What a day that will be!