Better Than Life
In Psalms 63, the psalmist makes an incredible statement,
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
What does the psalmist mean when he says that God's lovingkindness is better than life? Let me try and explain.
First, lovingkindness literally means merciful love. It is God's unfailing, merciful love.
And this is the love the psalmist says is "better than life." This merciful and unfailing love of God is better than life at its best without that love.
When I think of my life without Christ, I can remember many high times, laughter I shared with people, and great relationships. But the least of God's mercies far outweighs the best of those times.
My life before coming to know Christ was chasing shadows. It was doing the best with a counterfeit because I had never experienced the reality. It was eating freeze-dried food when the Master Chef had prepared this sumptuous feast with the finest ingredients.
His lovingkindness is indeed better than the best of life without it. The natural response to such merciful love, to such an abundant life, is praise. Which means that every day, until your dying day, should be a thanksgiving day.
Prayer is communication with God. It is speaking, and it is also listening. And like all communication, prayer is a skill that can and should be improved.