As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul yearns for you, my God.
A deer relies on a stream of water for its existence. Without access to water, the deer will not survive. To pant means to breath with short, quick breaths. Panting is usually the result of physical exertion.
As I read the beginning of this psalm, I imagine a deer running towards water. Running so fast and with such intensity that by the time the deer arrives, it is panting for breath. The deer puts forth extreme physical exertion to get to the water.
With the same intensity of the deer, the author of this psalm yearns for God. With the same vigor as a deer pants for water, the author’s soul desires God. Yes, the author realizes that he depends on God for his very existence–much like the deer depends on the stream. “My soul yearns for you, my God.”
What do you yearn for?
This psalm asks us to consider the things in our lives for which we strongly desire. Are we pursuing God with the same sort of intensity and desire as this psalm describes? In college, one of my favorite Christian bands was Shane and Shane. They have a song that does a beautiful job of describing the kind of passion that comes with yearning for God. The song is titled Yearn. (I bet you couldn’t guess that.)
You can check out the video here:
Here are some of the lyrics:
“Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
Over You, and only You
Oh, You give life and breath
And in You we live and move
That’s why I sing
Lord, I want to yearn for You”
May you find the words of this psalm as an inspiration to your faith. And may you pursue a relationship with God with the same passion and energy as a deer pants for water.
See you on Sunday!