1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
So pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
For the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
What a vivid and beautiful word picture in these two verses! One cannot help but think of a frantically thirsty animal finally coming across a stream, lapping up the water they have been desperate for. I remember running a road race on a hot summer day, feeling more and more dehydrated, longing to see the water stop along the way. When I finally saw it, I could not get there fast enough. Oh, the feel of cool water on a parched throat!
Life can be like that sometimes, too. There are times where we are nourished and content in life, and things are good. There are also times when we feel like we are walking through the desert, dry and scorched from the pain of life. And more often than not, we are somewhere in between.
While we can be thankful we are not walking through the desert during the in between times, it doesn’t mean that our souls don’t pant for living water (remember John 4:13?). For me, this last year has been one of incredible blessing in which I have felt moments of being filled to the brim. But it’s also been exhausting. I am TIRED. In my fatigue, I know my soul is panting for God. But quite honestly, I don’t always feel it or acknowledge it.
There have been times when I have read this Psalm and thought, “Yes, this is true! My soul pants for you, God.” As I read this Psalm right now, my prayer is “Lord, help me to pant for you, to thirst for you.” I know that I do, but I am so often too tired or too busy or too selfish to be aware of the deep need I have for the presence of the Savior in my life, in my heart, and in my soul.
Wherever you are today, whether you are feeling full and content in life, feeling dry and scorched, or somewhere in between, don’t forget to pause long enough to feel the need for God. Let your soul pant for living water, and drink it in! The Lord longs to be that refreshing, cool water that comes at just the right time.