“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. [42:2] My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God” (Psalm 42:1-2)? I can easily picture a deer that has been running through the woods all day long, searching for a cool stream from which to drink. I can see his sides heaving in and out as he searches for that satisfying water. I can imagine that he would not be satisfied with simply the dew that is on the morning grass to quench his thirst, but continues to pursue that cool stream regardless of how far it is or how much energy he must expend to reach that place.
As God painted this picture for me today on the pages of my Bible, I am left to wonder if this is an accurate description of my pursuit of God. Do I wake in the morning, unsatisfied with a simple devotional that would be like the dew on the morning grass? Am I determined to race to my Bible and run through its pages with a determination to find everything I can out about my Heavenly Father?
The honest answer is that I do not always pursue God in this way. I would like to tell you that this is my practice every day, but I find myself too often simply going through the motions of living a “spiritual life.” There are plenty of things we all can do to give the illusion that we are living a spiritually vibrant life, but the reality might be that we are as dry as the desert! I don’t want to settle for this in my walk with God. I want to remain on the hunt for intimacy with God every day.
The question that the psalmist ended verse two with really sits heavy on my heart. He asked, “When shall I come and appear before God?” The reality is that I don’t know when that day will be for me, and you have no idea when it will be for you. We each can be sure that there will be a day that we will meet God face to face. There will be a day that everyone that has drawn a breath here on the earth will appear before God! I wonder when that day comes for me if I will have guilt and shame that I did not thirst more for the deeper waters of knowing my God? I wish I could go back in time and erase the wasted times that I did not pursue God. I cannot do that, and neither can you. There is one thing we all can do today. We can follow after God like that deer that is in search of the cool and refreshing waters. We can read His Word as though it is the living word of God (which it certainly is); we can pray as though we know and love God; and we can serve Him today. Continue to thirst for God today!