I love water. I drink it ice cold, lukewarm, hot; it doesn't matter. I wasn't always a water drinker though. Just a few years ago I drank everything but! Soda, coffee, tea, energy drinks just as long as it didn't taste like water. It took me a long time to realize that water alone is what my body craves. Pure water is what really satisfies my physical thirst.
It was my father who encouraged me to change my habits and make an effort to drink only water. It was tough at first but, after a few months I felt much better! I couldn't believe how obvious it was that all I need is water.
In the same way, I find that in Psalm 42 the psalmist craves the presence God more than anything else.
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Imagine a deer wandering in the woods longing only for water to keep it alive. Are we desiring God in the same way? Often we find ourselves looking to other things to satisfy our needs. We look to friends, family and spouses for attention. We keep track of our popularity on social media. We follow sports, fashion, and politics. Sometimes we can find temporary solutions to our needs.
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
Every day we have the opportunity to experience unfailing love from our God. The kind of attention, love, and satisfaction we desire by nature is only quenched by His presence in our lives. He is the water our souls thirst for.
How are some ways we can seek God's presence?
- Read and pray daily
Set aside time each day to focus on your relationship with God. Whether it's morning, night or your lunch break at work, make time to meet with God daily. Pray, read the scriptures, or follow a daily devotional plan. I like to read one book at a time, and take notes in a journal. Find what works for you, and stick to it!
- Look to Him in tough times
In Mark 14:32-36 Jesus was “deeply troubled, and distressed” before the crucifixion. We can only imagine how He felt. He was so stressed that He literally sweat blood (Luke 22:44). In midst of all this, he fell to the ground and prayed (Mark 14:36). Jesus pressed on closer to the Father in a time where He must have felt the most human He ever did. In the same way, we need to press closer to God in our troubles for strength.
- Praise Him in times of joy
James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father”. So let's praise Him for the gifts He gives us! Let's give Him thanks for the good things we receive. Giving Him our first in praise and thankfulness will draw us nearer to Him.
The closer we draw to God, the closer He will draw to us (James 4:8). Not only will we enjoy a relationship with our creator, but He will also satisfy the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).