I remember exactly where I sat in the Counselor Hut at Camp Greystone when one of the older counselors, Natalie, shared a devotion from her journal. Exhausted, immature, and confused about life, I let the wisdom of Christian staff at Greystone wash over me whenever I could. God was shaping my 18 year-old soul.
She read aloud from Psalm 63, and it was as if the words sounded off beautiful bells of truth in my soul. She read this about God:
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
New to reading such powerful words in the Bible, I remember feeling taken aback and literally sucking in my breath when she spoke the words, “your love is better than life” about God. And Natalie believed it. She knew it. Something about her life drew me into this truth. Would I ever become the type of woman who believed that knowing Jesus was better than life–meaning better than anything I would hold precious and dear and valuable like life itself? Was knowing Jesus even better than my life? Could I live a “crucified life” (Galatians 2:20)? Could I (or more appropriately would I) decide in my heart that Jesus was a prize far more wonderful than any earthly accolade, that He was better than anything, that He was the One who could fully satisfy?
What if it were true? That day, something changed in my heart. And I knew that if I had Jesus, I had everything. With singing lips, I went back to my cabin in the dark night, under the stars and pine trees, and I praised Him.