"...And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You." Psalm 73:25
My God, my portion, and my love,
My everlasting all!
I've none but Thee in Heav'n above,
Or on this earthly ball.
What empty things are all the skies,
And this inferior clod!
There's nothing here deserves my joys,
There's nothing like my God.
In vain the bright, the burning sun
Scatters his feeble light;
'Tis Thy sweet beams create my noon;
If Thou withdraw, 'tis night.
And whilst upon my restless bed,
Amongst the shades I roll,
If my Redeemer shows His head,
'Tis morning with my soul.
To Thee we owe our wealth, and friends,
And health, and safe abode:
Thanks to Thy Name for meaner things,
But they are not my God.
How vain a toy is glitt'ring wealth,
If once compared to Thee!
Or what's my safety, or my health,
Or all my friends to me?
Were I possessor of the earth,
And called the stars my own,
Without Thy graces and Thyself
I were a wretch undone.
Let others stretch their arms like seas
And grasp in all the shore,
Grant me the visits of Thy face,
And I desire no more.
We recently returned from a wonderful vacation in the beautiful Northwest. The beauty of the mountains and the water and the trees was unparalleled. We stayed with dear and gracious friends on a beautiful little lake, and had encouraging fellowship and prayer together. We were refreshed in every way. We really couldn't have asked for more. Yet as I sat alone with God after we returned home, a line from the hymn above came to my mind - a hymn I haven't sung in years. And the line was, "Thanks to Thy Name for meaner things, But they are not my God."
What was in me was a deep gratitude for all we had enjoyed and experienced, things from God even. But the deeper realization was that as marvelous and precious and beautiful as all those things are, they are not my God. Nothing can compare to Him. His gifts and His creation and the good things He gives us to enjoy - as great as they are, they are nothing compared to Himself. They are nothing compared to the beauty and preciousness of His presence. I love the last two lines: "Grant me the visits of Thy face, And I desire no more." The more I get to know Him, the more time I spend in His presence, the more I find these lines express the growing sentiments of my heart.
He knows how to ravish our hearts and wreck us for Himself. But the way it happens is by our spending time with Him and getting to know Him, by our seeking Him out - seeking His person and presence, seeking His face, seeking to know His heart. He gladly gives us all things to enjoy, but the things He gives should point us to Himself. It's like He is saying, "This is beautiful, but wait 'til you see Me. That is just a little glimpse of My beauty and glory. I'll show you so much more if you will come and spend time with Me in My presence!"
Nothing can compare with our God. He is everything we truly long for and need. He is our portion, He is our love, and He is our everlasting all.