Longing for God

Have you ever just longed to be close to the one who created you?

Read Psalms 42 and then below check out my paper for the Integrity Worship Institute on Psalms 42.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

The writer of Psalms 42 seems to be longing for God to fellowship with him. The Psalmist longs for God as a drought stricken animal longs for water. Through this song, the writer expresses his deep longing for a close relationship with God. We, today, are just like the writer. We as Christians, continue to long for more intimate experiences of God moving in our lives.

When the Psalmist chose to use the thirst of a deer to express his longing for God, he chose a vivid picture. A deer is a timid animal that always seems ready to run away, or fearful of attack. The writer was being hunted by his enemy’s and felt that live was not possible without the refreshment that worship gives. In the heat of that day, water is precious and to the writer God’s presence was just as precious.

Though the Psalmist looked for comfort for his heart, he could not lose all the gloom that resided in it. He felt free only a moment and then his gloom returned. Here the writer shares of his depression. Sadness floods the Psalmist show, not only is he far from God spiritually, he is literally far from home and has become homesick.

The struggles of Psalms 42 end with the writer returning to God with trust (I just love the Boldfaced ending, check it out). He struggles with fear but his faith always seemed to win out. He comes to the conclusion that he should not be depressed for feel rejected, for God is with him and he would be able to praise him once more.

We as his children are just the same way. We ride a rollercoaster called life and we fall down and get back up. On and on we God, until we finally realize that when we fall down we are not alone and it is He who helps us get back up.

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