As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
Whenever I go to the mountains I am drawn to the streams and cascades. I must have hundreds of pictures of these streams. I find so many things in those streams from peace and quiet to happiness and noisy joy. The longer I stay away from them the more I want to go, need to go, back to them. I long to be back sitting beside one of those streams with my camera.
I have felt the same longing in times when I have been far away from God, times when God seems only a distant memory. I wonder where God is and why such bad things happen. I have only one giant question, “Why?” This psalm was probably written for a people who were in exile, far away from God. The psalmist questioned why God seemed so far away as he poured out his soul. Instead of an answer to the question the Psalmist turned to his memory of walking close to God and being safe in the house of God. Then he asked another question, “Why so disturbed within me?” The answer: put your hope in God and praise him. It is hard to choose to praise God when he seems so far away, times when we see great sadness, times when we are thirsty for his presence. Follow the psalmist instruction and remember all the times you have found God in his house and put your hope in God again.
Lead us to streams of water. Restore our hope in you. Help us to walk with others who are in deep sorrow and be for them a memory of your love even when we have no other answer to their questions of why.
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