Me too.. I love that whole psalm. There are just irreplaceable lines so full of our Lord's grace and beauty, and the yearning of our response:
"Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools."
" 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 live in the tents of wickedness."
CS Lewis knew this feeling so well - it's at the heart of this wonderful passage from The Last Battle:
They had seen strange enough things at the Doorway. But it was stranger than any of them to look round and find themselves in warm daylight, the blue sky above them, flowers at their feet and laughter in Aslan’s eyes. He turned swiftly round, crouched lower, lashed himself with his tail and shot away like a golden arrow.
“Come further in! Come further up!” he shouted over his shoulder. But who could keep up with him at that pace?
If that's what awaits us on the other side, then that's, as I think it was Gandalf and Pippin who agreed, "not so bad..."
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Thinking a lot about death, and about God's love for all his creatures, just at the moment (Matthew 10:29 and so on). We had to have our beloved dog Mable (yes, spelled like that) put to sleep on Tuesday, at the age of 16. She had finally become so old she could hardly walk up the steps to the back lawn, and could only eat chicken, hand-fed. She had her last Easter with us, and died licking Jan's hand. She'd been our constant companion, friend and comforter since the age of 6 weeks... she was an indefatigable ally of the cats, and the hens, and the calves and the lambs, and the best farm ratter ever! A true lurcher (whippet/collie mix) and one of the gentlest dogs I've known. We'll miss her.