“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalms 42:1-2 NIV)
Do you ever get thirsty? You know, those times when your mouth is dry and your lips are parched. There have been times when I would be mowing the lawn and would have to take time to drink a bottle of water just to rehydrate. A thirst that can only be quenched by those drinks of water is what the writer is talking about in the above verse. Here’s what is happening in this section…
We find in this Psalm a man of God who has been removed from the temple in Jerusalem. Later in the passage he refers to Mount Hermon and Mizar which are to the north of the Sea of Galilee. King David often found himself removed from the temple and longed to be in the presence of His God. In a later Psalm, David says, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”” (Psalms 122:1 NIV)
Because of the distance from the temple and the formal form of worship the writer (maybe David or someone who knew him well) falls into depression. He says that his soul is downcast, perhaps a feeling of despair or a deep longing to worship his God. He asked “why are you downcast”. In verse 8, he recognizes that it is God who directs His love to the writer, who gives him a song in the night. Yet he seems to be filled with hopelessness.
Maybe you have felt that way, too. Have you felt that you are apart from God, that he doesn’t care about your situation? It happens to the best of us…it happened to David and Jesus said from the cross, “”Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”” (Mark 15:34 NIV) Things happen in our lives that we do not plan or the plans that we make don’t work out the way we want them to. We may wonder, “why is this happening to me?” It can cause us to fall into depression, a place of hopelessness. What are we do to when this happens? Here are some suggestion that I found to help me.
- Say to yourself, “Soul, put your hope in God.” The writer says this three times in Psalms 42-43. We need to seek after God with our whole heart.
- Stay in the Word. Many of the Psalms are fill with encouraging words to lift you up to a place where you are close to the Father who loves you.
- Stay close to fellow believers who will hold you up in prayer. It is when we are in those situations that are hard for us that we need their prayers and love.
- Remind yourself who you are in Christ. You are his child, his chosen treasure. He loves you more than anything else. You have the hope of eternal life abiding in you.
When you find yourself in the desert of deep despair try the preceding suggestions and see what happens. “As the deer pants for the streams of water, thirst (long for, seek out) after the living God and put your hope in Him.” That’s what I have found to be true in my life. I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. That’s my POINT for today. Blessings!