Water is one of our most basic needs. Without it, our bodies quickly break down. Yet, it is very easy to take it for granted. When I get home from work, my wife has never asked me, “Did you get enough water to drink today?” It just doesn’t seem that important. However, if I did not have easy access to water, it would quickly become an obsession.
Psalm 42 opens with one of the most memorable images in the Psalter. The Psalmist’s longing for God is compared to a deer in the wilderness panting for water. The reason why the psalmist longs for God so desperately is that God seems absent. When things are going well, it is easy to take God for granted. But that is not the case here. The psalmist laments, “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” (v. 3). This taunt of his enemies pierces his soul because he wonders about the same thing: Where has God gone? Why has God forgotten me? (v. 9).
Yet even amid his sorrow and sense of abandonment, he knows God is with him. He tells himself, “By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me” (v. 8). He preaches to himself, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God” (v. 11).
He ultimately knows that God cares for him as his Savior and protector (v. 11). He also knows that he needs God as desperately as a man dying of thirst needs water.
>> God is the foundational source of our life. While we may sometimes take God for granted, without His constant care we would not survive. Like the Psalmist, we thirst for God. Even in times of fear or sorrow, we can completely trust in God’s love, care, and provision.
Teach us to eat and drink and do all things to Your glory. May our satisfaction in all good things stem from satisfaction in You. We thirst for close communion with You. Satisfy our thirst, we pray.