Ps 42:1-2 For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" NIV
These two verses are some of the most passionate in the bible. Imagine a deer running through the forest in search of fresh water to drink. It’s hot, it’s humid, in the midst of summer and she is panting with fatigue. Consider that first cool refreshing drink on that hot summer day as the impact of cool, clear waters spreads from your mouth to the very core of your being like someone turning the lights on in a dark room inside of you! This is the psalmist’s thirst for God. This is the essence of his heart’s cry.
Only the presence of God can renew the inner man in a way that truly satisfies the deep longings of who we are. No other experience, not the taste of wine, not the thrill of extreme sports, not the inner reward of a job well done, only the touch of God can quench the thirst that lies deep within every human spirit. These two verses are a tremendous expression of that longing. Listen to the cry of the psalmist’s heart; “I pant for you… I thirst for you… when can I go and meet with you?” Inside every person this cry is there. For some it is buried under the waves of external stimulation that drown out its voice. For others it is suppressed and hindered by the worries and cares that burden our inner man. But there are those who know their hunger. There are those who have touched this deep place in their spirit man and have allowed this cry to awaken. There are those who have allowed the pain of their deepest longings to become a cry for God. “I thirst!”
Through the gift of this psalm God has set before us a vivid image of the cry that lies within. For many there is an undefined stirring. We know that we are not satisfied but we do not understand why we feel the way we do. Many are restless and frustrated with an unexplainable dissatisfaction burning down in the depths of who we are. This psalm is God giving words to your hunger. Let these simple verses become fuel for your heart today. Like the sons of Korah who gave voice to such revelation let your heart begin to be expressed before God today with the simple prayer, “Lord I thirst!” As I write these words my mind is drawn to the image of Jesus as he is nearing his last breath, bearing the weight of the sins of all mankind upon his broken body, as he cries out, “I thirst.” Somehow I don’t believe that it was the vinegar they gave him to drink that was on his mind. Even in his last painful moments it was the presence of God that He was longing for as He directed us to remember this psalm. I believe that this moment was a signpost for the suffering. In your anguish, reach for the living God. In your trial only He can quench your thirst. Let the longings of your heart awaken a desperation for His presence that compels you to put other things aside until this ache inside of your being is satisfied with His life altering presence.