‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.’ Psalm 42.1-2
These beautiful words express something very deep: a soul longing for God. It strikes me that longing can take many forms: a yearning for a deeper relationship with God, for freedom from a particular recurring sin or a memory that seems to have a hold over us, or for release from sickness.
The writer of the psalm does something that many of us may well recognise within ourselves - he talks to himself! Whilst he still has faith in the living God, there are some fears beginning to creep in that cause him to begin to doubt the goodness of God. In this psalm, his thoughts are expressed rather like a conversation between these two opposing trains of thought. He is seeking to bring all of himself back to the wonder of the living God and to deliberately trust in him, despite all life’s difficulties.
Today you might be going through hard times, and there may be a part of you that is beginning to doubt whether God will ever do anything to help you. If this applies to you, then do as the psalmist did and try to find something to help you hold onto God; possibly a Bible verse that you know well, a deep knowledge of the love of God that you cannot deny, or simply the words of Jesus in the Bible: "I am with you always". Let this truth speak to every part of you and to the situations you are going through.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
The Christian Healing Mission
8 Cambridge Court,
210 Shepherds Bush Road
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