There was a time when I felt like my spiritual life was like a roller coaster and I wasn’t sure when it was going to be up or down. I would praise God in one moment and then feel great sadness the next. My greatest desire truly was God, but it always seemed like things got in the way… life got in the way.
I remember that one of my favorite songs that we sang in my very conservative, evangelical youth group was entitled “ As the deer pants”. The thing about it was that it reflected my heart at that time… I was declaring that the Lord was my strength, although I felt weak most of the time… and my heart was to worship Him. I just didn’t know that I had full control over whether I did or not.
You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship you
My picture was that a deer was panting for water that it couldn’t find or didn’t have. I was a biology major in college and I learned a lot about H2O. It is essential. It can be said that “ the river is the life blood of a village” and we know that every living thing needs water. So, this picture of a deer panting for water and my soul longing for water- but not being satisfied…. that was how I felt.
The thing is… this song comes from the Psalms. Psalms 42:1 and if you read the whole thing… it is a much different picture than just that of longing. It is a picture of decision and fulfillment… a picture of true soul healing.
The Psalmist sees that he is hungry for God… that he has tried to “make it happen” …
“For I used to go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God” but now they are asking their soul “Why are you in despair?” and then they tell their soul what to do “ Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, for the help of His presence”. Then after he speaks to “himself” he cries out and asks God for help. “ O, my God, my soul is in despair within me” and then he makes a decision… a THEREFORE. So… what is it there- for? He is saying because my soul is in despair… I will then “ Remember thee from the land of the Jordan, and peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
So… what happened in the land of the Jordan… the peaks Hermon… form Mount Mizar?
I think the Psalmist is probably David and he is remembering when he was saved from destruction and crossed over the Jordan river… and then remembering back to Moses and the stories of the crossing there and the defeat of two kings near the peaks of Hermon… and the small mountain.
Soul… remember His goodness… remember what God has done in the past… verses 7 and 8 are the key ones here because they bring the resolution.. the truth
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
I am thankful Lord, that deep does call to the deep…. this is my prayer, this is my truth.
The sound of your waterfalls remind me that there is consistency… and no limits … to your loving kindness.