Psalm 42 (NLT)
1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”
4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!
We find ourselves on mountaintops and in valleys, the highs of life and the desperate lows. Life hits with its untimely circumstantial news, leaving us with the feeling of a pronounced verdict. Yet, there remains within us a desperation and hope. We know that we have been filled in the past, we know that God is the one true source that will not disappoint, the one place I can go to find true life.
The psalmist describes the longing that a deer has for the life giving water that it so desperately needs, but we imagine a picturesque stream meandering through a meadow of the high Sierra. This is not the picture the psalmist envisioned as the desserts of Israel were their home. The image I can see is that of the deserts of Sinai or places like En Gedi (you can google it.) Who has wondered through the barren wasteland that this fallen world sometimes presents only to have the salty tears of loss to bring them refreshment.
From this desperation and longing, with the sound of the enemy in the background, the heart cries out. We cry out for the moment when we felt His presence in worship, where we saw the love of God in the eyes of a friend, in our memories we recall His faithfulness and our celebration of His great love. Still the circumstances, the fallen world, and the gravity of all that walk this world seem to have their effect on our souls.
This when it is vital that we take our past experiences and we inform our present moment that God remains faithful and that our soul will not be downcast any longer. I allow myself to feel the weight of the sorrows only to be honest in authentic faith and then to see from the soaring heights that gravity has no hold on me. My soul is free to worship in vulnerability, but being cast down by the valleys of life will not shake what my hope remains in, but will remind me that though my heart breaks, I will sing for joy and give thanks.
I pray for you this morning, that as you read you will be filled once again and that your soul will be reminded it was created for the mountains.