I love to go to church early, before the service begins. One day I went to church more or less an hour before the service began. When I arrived, I immediately entered the church room and sat on the church’s bench. At the time I arrived, there were only a few people sitting on the bench. I sat watching people come before church began. I saw that some ushers were busy directing the people who came in to get a seat. Maybe this does not sound like a special sight for most people, but I really love it. For me, sitting quietly on the church’s bench while looking at people coming to their seats before the service begins is a beautiful view.
One day while I read the Bible, I found Psalm 27:4 which says, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (NIV). I read and pondered this verse many times. Deep down in my heart, I felt that this verse was so beautiful. It became my favorite verse. When I first read this verse, I felt that it was really a great joy that I could dwell in God’s house for the rest of my life. It was more than just sitting on the church’s bench and watching people coming to sit before the service began.
Time passed and my relationship with God grew deeper and stronger day by day, I began to learn to praise and worship God every day and to know God more through reading scripture. As I learned to praise and worship God, I began to feel God’s beautiful presence, and it made me feel at home. I love to dwell in God’s presence. When I dwell in it, I can forget everything that happened in my life. I feel only calm and peace. I really love to dwell in the presence of God, and I long for the times when I come to God in prayer and worship.
When I have intimacy with God, I can feel God’s presence not only in my prayer and worship time, but also in my daily life. I can feel God’s joy and peace always with me because I know God is always with me. That makes me excited to meet God again in my prayer, worship, and meditation on God’s words in the Bible. God is always present. God is always with me and never leaves me. And I can dwell in God’s house everyday and then forever, to gaze on the beauty of God and to seek God’s presence.
While several strategies for reopening the world are being discussed, I encourage you—the people of God everywhere—to allow this season to be a formative one during which you can make new discoveries about God and increase your faith. Use this time to embark on a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of action—involvement in the community.”