Read: Psalm 42
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God… When shall I come and behold the face of God?
-Psalm 42:1-2, 11b
I REALLY don’t like to be thirsty! I have a glass of water on my nightstand, by my reading chair, in the kitchen, on the dining room table, a bottle in the car…. You get the picture. When I’m thirsty, my throat feels like it is going to close up and I can’t talk. I cough and it’s most uncomfortable. This psalm of lament makes me very conscious of that discomfort (and grateful for continued access to clean, fresh water.)
The psalmist’s image of a deer longing for flowing streams is a powerful one. I picture a buck high in the mountains in the middle of the summer when the melting of winter snows no longer feeds the streams. The water is no longer flowing, and so it sometimes feels to me about my connection to God. My soul longs and yet nothing is happening. I feel distant from the Source and wonder when I will again be close and connected. It is most uncomfortable!
Much like the psalmist, experience has taught me that if I am patient, continue to pray, and “hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” This setting of the 42nd Psalm by John Michael Talbot helps.
Thank you, God, for giving us markers during the dark time to lead us to your light. Amen!