Early in the morning, before the sun even rises, the streams of Schwabacher Landing lie still, reflecting the surroundings and sky like a brand new mirror. How refreshing they are to the creatures who depend on them for life. Moose, pronghorn, bald eagles, and deer are often seen here, making this incredible place their home.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Psalm 42:1.
The homeland of the Psalmist was a hot, dry land, and often the deer would actually make a “crying” sound, which the word “pant” means here. According to scholars, there are several reasons deer would yearn for water to this degree. 1) They could be in a desert place, where there is little water. 2) There could be drought conditions, which would lead to extreme thirst. 3) They may be pursued by their enemies, and after running hard and fast, would actually cry for water. No matter the reason, the deer seeks one life-giving source no matter the circumstances it faces.
In this psalm, the writer is in exile and far from the place of worship. It is obvious he is heartsick and desperate for the presence and worship of God. He is not interested in comfort or honor or companionship. In the face of danger, loneliness, and uncertainty, all he desires is communion with God.
Can this be said of us? When we are in dire straits, do we long for God, or are we too busy thinking up solutions to our problems? When we are lonely, do we allow our loneliness to drive us to Him or do we seek companionship of others? Do we seek God in the deserts and droughts of life, or do we attempt to seek comfort?
May our God be who we long for, whether we face deserts, droughts, or enemies.