"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" – Psalm 42:1-2 ESV
The psalmist didn’t have a casual relationship with God. He was not just part of traditions, religious rituals, or history. God was central to his life, and that relationship was personal. He knew God and knew Him intimately. He looked to God for every need – protection, provisions, and purposes.
While he always needed God, there were times when his need was particularly crucial. He was writing at one of those times. He described this desire as being like a deer that “pants for flowing streams.” This was a picture of how deer get nourishment for survival. This suggests an even deeper, more urgent need for David.
The Hebrew word says he longed for God. He needed Him for the basics of life, for everything that makes life worthwhile. He panted for God. Similarly, his soul thirsted for God. This was a thirst “for the living God,” the God who is alive and present and can do anything.
Our relationship with God should be like this. We should need Him as much as a deer needs water. We should desperately seek Him, not just with casual prayers, but also with determined, serious prayers. We should be like Jesus in the garden when he “prayed more earnestly,” and “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Spend time in prayer. Dig deeper into your heart and mind. Long for God’s presence.
Father, I long for Your presence. Deepen my relationship with You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.