As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
Have you read the current popular book series, The Hunger Games? My lover and I read them last fall. They’re so good. Really, they’re a book series about surviving against all odds, when everything seems against you. Katniss Everdeen is the heroine on the series, with survival instincts that would make Bear Grylls look like a pansy. Facing a situation where survival depends on water, Katniss looks for a source of the life-giving liquid immediately. One way to find water is to find a deer trail and follow it to the source. Because deer will follow a trail back and forth repeatedly once they know where the source of water is.
With this in mind, look back at what the psalmist says in Psalm 42:1, “as the deer pants for the water brooks.” If a deer gets cut off from its water supply for some reason, it will begin to look for a new source. The longer it goes without water, the more it craves. We as Christians should experience the same longing, the same life-or-death drive for the Lord as the deer has for water. After some time without being in the Lord’s presence, we should be driven to seek after Him again. The analogy here is so perfect! I can see this even in my own life. Every morning when I get to work the first thing I do is read several chapters in the Bible (I’m on a Bible-in-a-year plan) and on Monday I forgot. I could totally tell. It just ruins my day.
The psalmist continues on to say, “my soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” We want deer trails here people not rabbit trails. So often we desire after the selfish human things our own hearts deceive us with. Things that we may think satisfy. But the only place where we can find life is in the living God. No where else can our thirsty soul be satisfied.
Jesus himself said in John chapter 4 to the woman at the well,
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
See there at the end of the verses? Everlasting life. And where does this water come from? From Jesus. He is able to quench our desperately thirsty soul.