My devotions landed me in Psalm 42 this week. I hope and pray that this psalm can encourage you as it has me.
This beautiful psalm (which, by the way, I would encourage you to read!!) opens with the psalmist declaring that he longs for God the way a deer longs for water. But why is he longing for God? Because for whatever reason, men are surrounding him, demanding to know where his God is. The psalmist, in tears, doesn't have an easy answer. He remembers when he led triumphant people into the temple, worshiping God, but now, his soul is "cast down" and "in turmoil." Still, the psalmist forces himself to remember God's salvation in the past, and reminds himself to hope in God.
Sometimes, it isn't always easy to know where God is. I've certainly had moments in the past few weeks when I've wondered why God's doing what He's doing. I know He's sovereign. I've seen Him work in the past. But when life hits, and you feel like you're on a roller-coaster ride, and you can't see how God's working, it doesn't seem so easy anymore. You desire God, even pant after Him, but you don't know how to find Him.
For me, verse eight was the beautiful reminder that I needed, in the midst of confusing, conflicting emotions. "By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life." God's love is steadfast. It doesn't change. My circumstances and my reaction are what change. The God of my life is there, steadfast, giving me His song. (You knew I'd throw the song in there, didn't you??) The song He gives me becomes my prayer. With that song, prayer, and the knowledge of His steadfast love, I'm enabled to hope and trust in Him, no matter if life makes sense or not.
As I read this psalm, my definition of thirst for God was completely transformed. Desiring God isn't some ambiguous thing that only the super-spiritual can achieve. It's something that can manifest itself in long hours in the Word or in prayer, or sometimes simply in clinging to a single promise He has given us. Thirsting for God is longing for His steadfast love to wash over you like a waterfall, even in the midst of tears. It's choosing to sing His song when circumstances seem to defy His presence. It's letting that song become a prayer... a prayer to the God of your life.
With love from an absolute doll,