You know the feeling of being thirsty. Perhaps you know the feeling of being really thirsty. The sight of something to drink is such a relief! Have you ever felt thirsty in life? Thirsty for purpose or meaning? Thirsty for a connection to something greater than yourself? Thirsty for a connection to God? For a reconnection to God?
If we’re honest, we have all felt or are feeling this kind of thirst in our lives. In the Psalms, one writer described how he was feeling like this: “My soul is panting for God just like a deer pants for flowing water.” He felt a separation from God that he was desperate to bridge and an aimlessness in life that needed repurposed. Have you ever felt this way?
If so, the very next statement from the psalmist is so important. He writes, “ My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Do you see it? He has realized that there are so many things in life that get our attention and affection – things that if we are honest we treat as gods. Work, self-importance, money, status, production, friends, etc. Here, he distinguishes God from anything that might be treated as god. What is the difference? God is living. He is not something that we use to feel better. Rather, He is active and has the capacity and intention to intervene in our lives. Moreover, the Bible reminds us time and again that it is God’s way to pursue people in love. That’s the reality that the psalmist is panting with thirst for. Do you feel this way?
If so, then follow the psalmist encouragement to himself and “put your hope in God.” In my life, I hope in so many things – paychecks, affirmation, the Flyers (how’s the working out?), society, and the list goes on. Hope in those things is so fleeting. But when I hope in God I find the deep drinks that quench my thirst for purpose, for love, for a connection to my Creator. Hope takes the action out of my hands and allows me to be in the active hands of the living God. And that reality is utterly satisfying.