Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Panting for Water?

If there is one thing we saw a lot of last week it was water.
Lakes, rivers, rain, ponds and puddles…we saw and encountered wet things everywhere. I was very glad I had my lovely wellies!

I love it when God uses something that you’ve seen or read many times, but reveals it to you in a new way and teaches you something new from it.

Whilst sat in the tent last week, I reached for my bible and really felt led to look up Psalm 42. As I read the first line, I recognised the Psalm and noticed that I’d started to just skim over the words, not really giving them my full attention. So I slapped my own wrists and started again, from the top.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
(Psalm 42)

As I read through the Psalm I remembered my recent tears and my downcast spirit. I remembered my feelings of being lost and forgotten. I remembered my thirst and longing. But I also realised that I had only come to a place of thirsting for God and reading His word after I had tried to work it all out myself.

The first thing the writer notes in this Psalm is his longing, his thirst for God and his desire to go and meet with Him. Is this the first thing I desire when I am feeling down or distressed? Do I turn to God first? Do I long to spend time with Him?

I am fortunate to live in a country where water is readily available, and is sometimes taken for granted. In fact, the amount of water I saw last week started to make me resent it a little! But because I can fill myself to bursting with clean water everyday, I don’t often fully understand or appreciate the value it has and the impact it can have on my life.

I am also fortunate to live in a country where I am free to worship God and His word is readily available to me. But does this mean that I sometimes also take His presence and His word for granted? Do I not desire and long after Him like I should because I assume that He will always be there? Do I not fully understand or appreciate the value of His word and the impact it can make in my life because I have easy access to it?

I don’t really know. I don’t even know if these thoughts make any sense! But I do know that I can always learn to long for God more.

I woke up one morning last week in a puddle, inside the tent! I wasn’t really a very happy bunny – having a wet bed is not my idea of fun! Light rain had turned to a torrential downpour overnight and the ground was so saturated it couldn’t absorb anymore water so it started to flow over the ground and collect in puddles and ponds.

Just today God used this image to speak to me about my desire to spend time with Him, to read His word, to understand His heart. His living water is readily available to us without any restrictions. How much of it we drink is up to us. It is our decision to stop being in a drizzle of His word, but to step out and be completely immersed in a lake of His word and His presence. One that gets us so wet it starts to flow out of us, and creates puddles and ponds wherever we go!

And because posts are better with pictures...this is the view over Derwent Water towards Keswick last week from a place called Surprise View...

1 comment:

Bianca said...

Beautiful post!!! I love it.