The Doorpost: How thirsty are we for God?

Ray King  ·  Aug 01, 2016

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

The writer of Psalm 42 says his soul is thirsty for God—that his soul pants for God. When we read these words or sing them, what comes to our minds? Is the psalmist unusually dedicated or spiritual? What brings about this thirst—this panting—for God? How can we have it? The rest of this Psalm gives some ideas.

Verse 3 says, “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, ‘Where is your God?’”  Verse 9 says “I say to God, my Rock: ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’” Verse 10 continues, “As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, ‘Where is your God?’”

The circumstances the writer was facing seemed hopeless. Others were making fun of his trust in God. He needed to hear from God. His soul was thirsty—panting—for God.

The challenges of life and opposition from others, even those we thought were our friends, can increase our desire for God. Realization of our desperation and weakness should cause us to cry out to God.b