Daily Readings: Numbers 19-20, Psalm 42
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?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
There are many times in life where I feel like this. Many times where my soul absolutely pants for God like a deer pants for streams of water.
This water imagery comes up twice in our readings today. In Numbers we see the Israelites without water and becoming desperate. They come to Moses broken and fearful. I am blessed enough to have grown up in a country where I have never known a complete lack of water, but even drawing on times where I have been extremely thirsty on a hot day and forced to wait, it can be a helpless feeling. I can’t even imagine being in a situation as desperate as the Israelites faced.
How often does our soul feel that same sense of desperation, where we long for the refreshing, life giving water that Jesus provides, but feel like it is just out of our reach? There are definitely times where my soul feels a bit like I am wandering in the desert, knowing the water I am looking for, but having it constantly elude me.
There are many times where I struggle because the weights of life brings me down, I have a hard time giving them over to God, and I want to make everything work out of my own power. In these moments my soul pants for God, but accessing his loving grace feels as hopeless as the Israelites felt.
Then Moses struck the rock and water came pouring out.
Our God is a God of the impossible. He is a God that can bring forth water from the stone and refresh us in the most dire of circumstances.
Frequently I am standing there with a staff and God invites me to strike the stone, but I hesitate. He invites me to strike the rock, but I still want to do it under my own power. I insist on turning to other distractions to fill up my cup instead of turning to him.
My soul continues to pant and these distractions never satisfy.
As I continued on to verses 3-5 in Psalm 42 this morning, they really spoke to me. When I feel deeply like the author of verses 1 and 2, it is so important that I move on to verses 3 through 5.
These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
There are few things that fill up the soul like worship. When my relationship with God is purely studying his word and communicating through prayer, it is far better than nothing, but there is very little passion. Passion, energy, enthusiasm, and unconditional belief that the God of the Universe has everything firmly under control only truly come to me through worship. I need to shout with joy at his works in my life. I need to praise him for all of the blessings he has showered down on me, both earthly and eternal.
When I am worshipping God with all of my being, I strike the stone and water comes pouring out.
Our God is there and waiting.
The stone awaits and the staff is in your hands today.
Strike the rock.
Thought to ponder
When has my soul panted for God recently? What can I do today to strike the rock?