A Different Kind of Gladness

For you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
— Psalm 21:6 ESV

We're smiles all around. Our newest grandson, Canon Theodore Ripple, was born Sunday night. Shannan and I are in Chicago to celebrate, help with his brothers, and soak up the occasion.

It's quiet here at their home this morning. Bethany and Brent are at the hospital with their new little guy. The older brothers still sleeping fitfully. So I eased out of our room and into the Word.

I opened to where I left off yesterday, Psalm 21. This is King David's exaltation over the LORD God. At one point David directs his praise to God and says:

You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.

Here David is reflecting on how "God came through" when the Lord granted David his petition (recorded in Psalm 20). Writing about David's joyus state, Spurgeon says,

If we pray today for a benefit and receive it, we must, ere the sun goes down, praise God for that mercy, or we deserve to be denied the next time.

So here is David saying "Thank you!" for God's present, but then he reflects on something better: God's presence. And David sings:

For you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

Presence tops presents. That's the message of Psalm 21. It is a lesson brought home as I watch the faces of our family light up in the presence of little Canon:

There is a greater gladness that comes from being in the presence of one we love. The Ripple and Kiedis families are experiencing that gladness.

I've got to believe our joy over the presence of this little bundle of life is the kind of glorious giddiness David experienced over the presence of God.

David too was smiles all around.

And why not? God is the loving, powerful, gracious, steadfast, faithful, sacrificial, protecting Father who is behind all those "presents."

To have his presence is to have all.

So today I am taking delight in the presence of a beautiful child. This "present" is pointing me to the gladness of presence and an unbounded joy that comes from living in the presence of God.


  • "If we pray today for a benefit . . ." from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon (Psalm 21:2). www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries. Accessed October 24, 2017.
  • Spanish River just started a 25-Day Prayer Journey based on our new series, Prayer: What's Stopping You? Click here for Sunday message. Here for the Prayer Devotional download.