As the deer pants for the water…
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
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
with shouts of joy and praise
Psalm 42:8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
Because we have woods surrounding our neighborhood, we still see deer in the morning if we are up early enough. What pleasure it is to see the gracefulness of their walk as they commune with each other.
When David wrote the above psalm he had been away from the house of the Lord for some time. His longing to be in communion with God in God’s own house was almost more than he could stand. The image of a deer longing for water to quench its thirst and perhaps hide its scent from the enemy is the perfect analogy for the state of David’s soul.
Yet, David thinks on the things God has done for him in the past, remembering God’s goodness, dwelling not upon the disappointments but reveling in the joys.
Friends, when you are away from the community of believers and from the place where you go to meet God, there is still comfort in thinking on those things that God has done for you, and counting on the things He is still going to do. Our relationship with God does not depend on where we are physically, but where we are spiritually.
If you cannot be in church because of illness, know that God will meet you where you are.
PRAYER: Gracious Father, how long would our days and nights be if we could not meet with you in your holy place. May we always seek to be with you, setting aside either the Sabbath or the Lord’s Day to meet with you and join with others to praise your name forever. I pray that we would make it a priority to be in your house and that only sickness would separate us from being present along with other believers. We acknowledge that grace not only saves us but transforms us into new creatures. Where we once were alone, now we are part of a community. Where we once were separated from you by the great gulf of sin, now we are reconciled through the blood of Jesus. Thank you for you love and for your grace. Amen