As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
Coleridge famously wrote in his poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: ‘Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.’
Just as seawater is not only useless, but harmful to thirsty sailors, we are often surrounded by things that seem good, but are, in fact, of no real benefit to us.
Have you spent a lifetime amassing power, wealth and influence, yet still feel empty inside?
The psalm begins with a moving picture – a panting deer in desperate need of fresh water. The psalmist deeply understands that our souls long for and need God alone.
Indeed, our gracious and lovely God is the wellspring of living waters for us in the dry, parched, fallen world we live in. Earthly pleasures and achievements are poor substitutes for the presence of God in our lives.
During my NS days, after rigorous exercise under the hot sun, I discovered that drinking water was the most direct and satisfying way to quench my thirst. Coffee and Coke were poor substitutes in such moments. Similarly, after a period of drought, a weary deer’s desire is fixed on what it truly needs – fresh water. Thus, such difficult experiences – exercises, or drought – serve to fix our focus on what will truly refresh us.
Similarly, God allows challenging moments in our lives to turn us away from the noise and fleeting pleasures of the world, to focus us on our need for Jesus, and sharpen our hearing to His call.
This Lent, let us thank Jesus for restoring our communion with God through His sacrifice on the cross, and look to him alone for our fulfillment and refreshment!
Gracious Lord Jesus, you are the oasis of living water for my soul. Help me to rise beyond both the travails as well as the pleasures of life, and develop a deep longing for You. Set me apart to walk closer and deeper with You. In your precious Name I pray. Amen
Chi Loong 🙏