“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1–2
How aware are you of your hearts longing for connectedness with God?
I fear that most people are completely oblivious to their need for, and to their souls yearning for, a relationship with their Heavenly Father.
In the Garden of Eden as the Godhead fashioned humanities first parents they formed within them a need for a living connection between themselves and their creator. That need continues to be present in all their descendants without that connection there’s an emptiness in our lives and nothing else can fill it.
Most people attempt to fill their need for God with something else: work, play, family, hobbies, sports, addictions. Some attempts result in complete disaster while others, on the outside, appear to fill the need, but on the inside there’s still a longing for something, or someone else.
It’s not until we finally accept a personal relationship with Jesus that we even understand what our hearts been looking for.
As the psalmist wrote Psalm forty-two he wrote it from the perspective of a person who knew what it was to have a connection with God but who was going through a season where sustaining that connectedness was a struggle. Hardship, the oppression of enemies and other difficulties, have risen up to obscure the joy and confidence he’s had in his worship and devotion to God. Now that consciousness he’d had that God was with him, nourishing him, protecting him, and sustaining him is hard to realize and he longs for the days when it was easy to reach out and take a secure hold of the hand of God.
I think those who have a relationship with God all go through times like this. Times when it’s harder for us to break through the barriers and distractions in life and know that our Father is with us.
He’s never far away. He’s promised that he’ll never leave us or forsake us. He’s promised that he’ll be will us always. We may wander away from him but he’ll never wander away from us.
When we experience those times of disconnection what we’re struggling with isn’t God’s distance from us it’s our own immaturity of faith, and sometimes our own unintentional, or perhaps intentional, distancing of ourselves from him. During these times our hearts yearn for the connection they’ve known like a homesick child longs for his or her parents.
The psalmist has learned that this time of apparent distance from God will pass and he’ll return to the freedom of worship he found with God in the past if he’ll keep reaching our for God and trusting in him. Hope has been born from his remembrance of how he’d been restored in the past. Now in times of difficulty his prayer is, “Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11