Do you long to feel the presence of God? Do you only think of Him when you are in a time of need, or do you enjoy times of prayer and bible reading for an uplifting and positive experience. We are so privileged to be able to come before God anytime, day or night, because of His Son Jesus, yet most often we neglect this privilege simply because there is nothing wrong. We read in Psalm 42:1-2 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
As the life of the deer depends on water, so do our lives depend upon God, and long for His presence. We may try to fill this longing with other things, people, or places in life, but it is a void that can only filled by Him. In verses 4-5 of Palms 42, the writer expresses the discouragement they felt during a time of exile for the Jews who longed to be back in Jerusalem. They missed being able to worship in the temple and take part in the festivals. They felt separated from God and this is not a peaceful place to be.
There is no rest to be found when relationships go unrestored and discord is present. The same is true with our relationship with God. When we seek Him, we find Him, and we find everlasting life. The psalmist knew this and could not rest until his relationship with God was restored because he knew his very life depended on it!
When we are focused on God it takes our mind off of present situations that may bring depression, anxiety, and stress. Our mood begins to improve because we are literally focused on our hope in Jesus Christ. Just as the deer pants for the water, it then becomes focused on finding it and will not rest until it has found what it is searching for! We need this kind of relentless attitude as we look to our Rock, our Refuge, and our Redeemer!
Be encouraged today, God has not forsaken you. If you will seek Him, you will find him, and when you do, you will also find peace, joy, comfort, love, and rest. Life is always going to have its ebb and flow, but when you have God to lean on, you will always have a refuge. God does not try to hide form us, He wants us to desire His presence. He doesn’t force His will on those who do not choose him. Just as the deer is thirsty for water, it goes to the brook to drink. So if you are in need today and thirsty for God, then go to the stream. Don’t wait on someone or something else to bring water to you.
I pray, “Father, forgive me when I don’t look to You to meet my needs. I’m guilty of searching in all the wrong places. You are not hiding, You’re simply waiting… waiting on me to call on You! I long to sense Your presence in this fast paced world of struggle and turmoil. Fill me with Your love and the comfort of Your Spirit, and grant me the understanding I need to succeed in this journey of life until I reach my final rest in You, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.