“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?” Psalms 42:1-2 ESV
As I read Psalms 42:1, I immediately think of a song I use to sing as a child. “As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee. You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee...”. I can see the picture the psalmist paints of a deer panting, taking quick short breaths. Maybe standing, looking left and right for streams of water. Maybe the panting implies that he is tired from running or maybe the deer is just desperate because he has gone too long without water.
Regardless, he uses this vivid picture to describe how he longs for God. He thirsts for Him. The need for water is one of the strongest physical needs we have. You can go weeks with food, but in most cases you won’t last more than three or four days without water. His soul longs for Him. It’s more than a feeling he is after. It’s more than some chill bumps on his arm that he craves. He WANTS the living God!
"When shall I come and appear before God?” He is not afraid to come before Him. There is a fundamental need or desire that can only be fulfilled in God’s presence. I can’t see him settling for anything but the presence of God in his life. He is desperate for Him. Which brings me to a question. What picture would I paint RIGHT NOW that would accurately depict my appetite or desire for God?