Thirsting for God (29-04-22)
Bible Reading: Psalm 42:1-5
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
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
with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
I think there are times for all of us when we feel low and distant from God, maybe even depressed. For the psalmist here, writing in a time of exile, it was caused by physical separation from his homeland and from the familiarity of worship with his people in the temple’
What is it that creates a sense of deep longing within you? Maybe the loss of a loved one. Or the breakdown of a relationship. Or the loss of your youth. Maybe it’s the loss of a career. Or the loss of financial security. Maybe it’s the loss of the sense of feeling close to God. All of these things can cause a deep sadness within us and leave us, like the psalmist, feeling downcast.
When things are difficult in your life, how do they affect your relationship with God? Some turn away from God at such times, and say the equivalent of ‘Where is your God?’ The Psalmist, on the other hand, turns to God and pours out his soul to him.
As the Psalmist pours out his soul to God, it seems his perspective changes. He is now able to look back with thanksgiving for what he has had, rather than with sadness for what he has lost. As he remembers the good times in the past, at the joys and the celebrations, he is reminded that God is his Saviour, and in this he finds hope for the future.
A sense of depression is a common ailment. It seems that the Psalmist’s antidote for depression is to reflect on God’s goodness in the past. This takes his mind off the present situation and his own inability to change it, and instead to focuses his mind on God and on God’s ability to help.
As you look back in your life over the things that it seems you have now lost, can you find things for which you can give thanks to God? The God who blessed you in the past is your Saviour, he is faithful, and he will bless you again.
Put your hope in God, for you will yet praise him, your Saviour and your God.
Father God, I praise you for your faithfulness to me in the past, and I put my hope in you for the future.
As the deer pants for the water.