As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.

Psalm 42: 1

 

Think about the various and even contradictory images that water can form in your mind. For me there is the very peaceful one of the smooth surface of a mountain lake at dawn, the sense of refreshment that I find in a fast moving stream, the ribbon of beauty and activity that surrounds a river running through the heart of a city, and the perfect thirst relief that is found in a glass of cool water on a hot day. In contrast my mind can quickly recall images of the power, swiftness, and destruction that water shaped into the form of rain storm, hurricane, or typhoon can bring. Yet water is one of the most elementary and primary needs that we all have. It is something that the very cells of our bodies seek after with a sort of fundamental drive.

 

This same sort of deep seated and fundamental drive is found in all people in regards to our need for God. However, this drive to enter into a relationship with God seems to be one of the areas in the hearts and minds of people where Satan works most diligently and consistently to twist and to pervert. We humans can come up with so many answers to this need that they defy imagination. The reasons that people give for rejecting God, for delaying a decision about Him, and for finding him in various alternative forms are all false ways that they have found to answer this basic calling of their hearts. God speaks to everyone, but only some recognize truth and answer by drinking deeply from His spring of life, the living water who is Jesus.

 

When my soul is feeling the thirst that comes from eating the dust that is kicked up during the contest and the hard work of the day, I need to turn to the refreshing stream of life that is found readily at hand in the presence of the Lord. He invites all to drink deeply and be filled. There is no reason to worry about depleting this reservoir, for it is deeper and wider than all of Creation. Then, when I am filled, I should turn to my neighbor and offer to share the drink. There is no other beverage that satisfies, and there is nothing else that answers this soul-deep need that all people have. So, as we know Jesus, we know the answer to our neighbor’s thirst.

 

As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

Psalm 42: 1 

 

A cool drink of water on a hot day; especially, on a dry day spent in a dusty place while doing physical labor, can be the most luxurious and the richest fluid that I have ever consumed. The choking dust is rinsed away, and that raspy, burning sensation that irritates the throat is eased. Then it seems as if the cells of your body actually soak in the water and become whole again. It’s truly amazing how desirable something that is so ordinary can become. 

 

The image here is even more striking, for I picture a deer that has been running hard for a long time, over a great distance, and as fast as it can move in order to escape a predator. The deer has had to use all of its skill and energy to sprint away from the hungry jaws that are trying to destroy it; thus, the deer is exhausted and its skin is torn from diving through brambles and bushes in its desperate flight. Now, after the chase has ended, wary of the potential for another attack, the deer needs to find water in order to be refreshed and to regain strength for the next struggle.

 

There are predators waiting along the paths of our lives, too. They are aggressive and they are cunning, and they come at us from the most unexpected of places and they strike at the worst possible moments. They seem to understand those times when my resources are at their lowest, and they hide out in friendly and safe locations in order to catch me with my defensive shields turned off. In many ways I think that the writers of the Star Trek series got evil right in their creation of the arch foe for the crew of the Enterprise, the Klingons, for they are cunning, deceptive, intuitive of weakness, relentless, and totally focused on their mission of destruction. These characters of fiction look a great deal like the real world where we live.

 

Yet, God grants us much more than just a momentary rest and simple refreshment. He gives us the healing water of His loving grace and forgiveness. Christ removes the angry toxins of sin that build up in our souls as we fight to survive in life, and He restores our bodies to the strength of spirit that Christ intends for us to possess. In order to be ready for the inevitable attacks that will come, for the intent of evil to assault people is inevitable, we need to drink deeply from the water of strength and truth that is God’s word. As we do this, we should wash our hearts in the cleansing streams of prayer and allow the Spirit of God to lead us away from danger and to God’s purpose.  

 

As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.

Psalm 42: 1

 

Think about the various and even contradictory images that water can form in your mind. For me there is the very peaceful one of the smooth surface of a mountain lake at dawn, the sense of refreshment that I find in a fast moving stream, the ribbon of beauty and activity that surrounds a river running through the heart of a city, and the perfect thirst relief that is found in a glass of cool water on a hot day. In contrast my mind can quickly recall images of the power, swiftness, and destruction that water shaped into the form of rain storm, hurricane, or typhoon can bring. Yet water is one of the most elementary and primary needs that we all have. It is something that the very cells of our bodies seek after with a sort of fundamental drive.

 

This same sort of deep seated and fundamental drive is found in all people in regards to our need for God. However, this drive to enter into a relationship with God seems to be one of the areas in the hearts and minds of people where Satan works most diligently and consistently to twist and to pervert. We humans can come up with so many answers to this need that they defy imagination. The reasons that people give for rejecting God, for delaying a decision about Him, and for finding him in various alternative forms are all false ways that they have found to answer this basic calling of their hearts. God speaks to everyone, but only some recognize truth and answer by drinking deeply from His spring of life, the living water who is Jesus.

 

When my soul is feeling the thirst that comes from eating the dust that is kicked up during the contest and the hard work of the day, I need to turn to the refreshing stream of life that is found readily at hand in the presence of the Lord. He invites all to drink deeply and be filled. There is no reason to worry about depleting this reservoir, for it is deeper and wider than all of Creation. Then, when I am filled, I should turn to my neighbor and offer to share the drink. There is no other beverage that satisfies, and there is nothing else that answers this soul-deep need that all people have. So, as we know Jesus, we know the answer to our neighbor’s thirst.