According to a quote attributed to Daniel Boone, “Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” I don’t know about all that, but I do love Kentucky. I just didn’t realize how much I loved Kentucky until I didn’t live here. It wasn’t until I spent two and half years living in the inferior Commonwealth of Virginia that I realized, as Kentuckian Jesse Stuart writes,
I take with me Kentucky embedded in my brain and heart
in my flesh and bone and blood
Since I am Kentucky
And Kentucky is part of me
As much as my heart longed for my old Kentucky home, it pales in comparison to how the redeemed heart desires to be at home with the Lord. This is exactly what we find in Psalm 84—the author “long[ing], yes, faint[ing] for the courts of the Lord” (v. 2). The Psalm reads like the pages of a journal from someone who’s missing home, someone longing to get back to the Garden of Eden where, prior to their sin-provoked eviction, man and woman enjoyed unbroken fellowship with God. Pining for God’s presence, the Psalmist lifts our gaze away from our earthly dwelling places and up to the house of the Lord, where just one day spent is better than a thousand days spent anywhere else (v. 10)—yes, even Kentucky.
The good news is that, for those that have placed their trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life, we get more than just a one-day pass. As the well-worn hymn reminds us,
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun
Wherever you are, wherever you’ve been, you know where you belong—home. The Father is waiting and watching for your return (Luke 15:20). The house is being prepared, and you’ve been invited (John 14:1-3).