Christ’s presence is the hinge on which all life hangs. As I have continued my study of Psalm 84, my heart has been stuck on the leading image of the psalmist being content to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.
The Sons of Korah were among the keepers of the gates to the house of God. I doubt that the psalmist always leapt out of bed in joy to go man his post as doorkeeper. I am certain that his work went mostly unnoticed and existed mostly behind-the-scenes, much like janitorial work does today. We find this doorkeeper content, not because of the nature of his work, but because of the presence and nature of God.
He is content to be a doorkeeper in the house of God because His primary love is the Presence of God Himself.
After all, the Psalmists employs use of the Hebrew word, ashar, meaning blessed and happy, three times throughout his song: Happy are those who dwell in your house (verse 4), happy are those whose strength is in you (verse 5), and happy is the one who trusts in you (verse 12).
The Psalmist cannot contain His joy at the presence of God; indeed, he begins his song with the imagery of longing and fainting, panting desperately after the presence of God. His longing builds to a crescendo in verse 10, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
While I am not a doorkeeper, I am a household maid, a carpool queen, a pantry-keeper and a meal-maker in our little bustling household. These jobs can become monotonous until I realize that His presence is the hinge on which my happiness and hope hinge. I long to be like the Psalmist, boldly declaring that His presence is what life is all about. I long to wait upon even the smallest glimpses of His grace, as even one little gulp of His grace transforms me.
I want my joy, my blessedness, my happiness (to borrow the Psalmist’s use of ashar), to hinge on Him, not my circumstances or the content of my work.
The Happiest Hinge
Your presence: better than a palace.
Your face: better than all fame.
If it allows even one glimpse of you
Then doorkeeper shall be my name.
I shall gladly oil the hinges
For even one hint of your face.
Simply one smile from my God
All monotony and drudgery erase.
The happy hope of you with me
Elevates the lowliest travail.
Even in waterfalls of weeping,
Your nearness makes me prevail.
Rid me of erring ambitions
For all I most long for is here.
God alone is my sun and shield;
I’ll wait, for He will draw near.