As The Deer Pants

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. When can I go and meet with God?”
– Psalm 42:1-2
It’s summer time! I live in Louisiana where the temps trend in the high nineties with humidity levels to match! I can barely walk outside without getting thirsty. My favorite cool treat is a “snowball” (AKA “snow cone”), and I say with fully acknowledged bias that Louisiana has the best version of that sugary ice treat in the world!  However, as satisfying as that treat can be, what my body really needs on a sweltering day is pure water. Few other drinks or treats will replenish my body, and some even will dehydrate my body more.
Sometimes it feels like life is as sweltering as a Louisiana summer. Hard times can feel as invasive as humidity. We get thirsty. We know what we need is the Living Water, but there are so many other options that sound good such as:
  • Scrolling social media
  • Justifying our point of view
  • Distracting ourselves with activities
  • Reaching for comforting food or drink
  • Targeting success
Even though some of the things we pursue in hard times can be good, if we look to them as our source aside from Jesus, we will still be dry and empty. I want to encourage you that the next time you reach for your favorite stress relief activity, invite Jesus into the moment with you. Here are a few practical ways to do so.
  • Reach out to a trusted friend who will encourage your heart and faith.
  • Pray for new wisdom for your situation.
  • Take a few moments to be still and receive comfort from the Lord before jumping into activities and pursuits. Invite His presence into them.
  • Seek the Lord before indulging in behaviors that may not be best for you. Give Him time to fill the need. You may realize you don’t need to pursue that path for comfort.
  • “Go and meet with God” as Psalm 42 states.
I encourage you to listen to the song “As the Deer” by Martin Nystrom that is based on Psalm 42. I enjoy the version by Shane and Shane also. This song always reminds me that God alone is “my strength, my shield.” He will always satisfy our thirst.

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