As the deer pants for the water, 
my soul pants for you, O Lord. 
(Ps. 42:1-3)
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To be honest, for many years I did not understood that verse. It sounds spiritual to read it in a churchy voice and makes a great song, but c'mon... 

How many people can say that line characterizes their daily lives?

We sure don't act like it. We pant after a bigger salary, nicer car, honors, awards, sports trophies, and glamor careers...but God? Who pants after God?

The image the Psalmist paints is of an exhausted animal who's run as far as he can go, escaping danger on every side, and now all he can think about is water. You could offer him a barn full of oats and a prairie full of fresh grass and he wouldn't give it a second look. He's no longer even worried about the presence of danger.

Why? Because need makes him single-minded. Desperation drives him to the one thing that can sustain him--water. Everything else has paled in comparison. Life has been stripped down to the bare essentials--life-giving water.

The image above can never be understood until you've been that desperate. When, like the deer, your life has been stripped down to the only thing that matters. The glitz of the world holds no fascination whatsoever and all your soul longs for is life-giving water. When you're dying inside from disappointment that life wasn't what you thought. When the future just holds more of the past. When your soul cries out that unless there is water around the next bend, you're not gonna make it.

Most of the world lives there, panting and desperate, never knowing how close the water really is, often choosing to believe the water they crave is nothing but a mirage. They turn their heads to search in vain for another source, but everything else only fills their souls with more dust.

The secret to panting after God is allowing Him to get close enough to give you a single taste. 

Like a water droplet on the tongue of a thirsty man, a glimpse of the beauty and glory of Almighty God leaves your soul panting for more. It's when you finally allow Him to strip your heart of all its lofty ideas and topple your idols that you can finally see Him.

And like that frantic deer, you begin to seek more. And more. And it's only then that you'll find Him and drink deeply of His life-giving water. 

He promises you will.


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