“As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God”.
Ps 42:1 GNB
People often long for things they cannot have. A man in prison hankers for a nice plate of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. A nurse having to put in long hours of night duty on hot summer nights longs for a cool swim in the sea.
The writer of Psalm 42 was a man of God and he longed for God. But he had often known the joy of God’s presence whilst in the temple in Jerusalem worshipping with the community. And now, for reasons that we do not know, he is banished to the far north of Israel, in the area around what became Caesarea Philippi, on the lower slopes of Mount Hermon. No doubt the distance lent enchantment to the prospect of worship and the communion with God that went with it. But there is something in all people of faith that craves for communion with God. The psalmist managed to describe it in the beautiful picture of the deer thirsting for water.
It is a good thing to long for God. Life on earth often seems strangely empty, unrewarding and lacking in joy. Troubles sometimes seem to harass us on every hand and cause us to feel weary and frustrated, lonely and forgotten. The disciples must often have felt like the psalmist when they went out on missions to the Gentiles, and thought of days in Galilee with Jesus. In your praying and in your corporate worship yearn for Christ and his presence. But always remember, he grants that sense of the divine presence from time to time, but always it comes with a challenge and a call that says, “Go!”
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, I too long for you. Please grant my prayer.