Are You as Wise as a Deer?

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

. . .

9 I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:1-4 & 9-11


The first verse of Psalm 42 is familiar to most. So familiar, in fact, that some forget that when it was written the temple may have been destroyed and Judah taken into exile. Still, in his darkest hour, this temple musician turned to God. While his enemies taunt him, enticing him to doubt his Redeemer, this faithful servant looks for and longs for the Almighty. Though he feels forgotten, this descendant of Korah calls God his Rock.

We all go through rough times. Some worse than others. I can’t fathom the horrors of war or human trafficking; yet, I’ve seen people I love succumb to alzheimer’s and cancer. I praise God I’ve never gone hungry, but we have faced financial struggles. Depression and anxiety have stolen my joy, and friends and family have abandoned me. My struggle may be different than the Psalmist’s, but I understand mourning and feeling as though my enemy is winning.

Unfortunately, I haven’t always followed the path of Psalm 42. Early in my adult life, I wallowed and complained. I played the blame game and allowed the darkness to consume me. I felt lost. I wanted to give up. I longed for something; I didn’t know what, but it wasn’t my Savior. Or perhaps it was, but I didn’t recognize it.

Like a deer walking along a dry creek bed, everyone faces dry spells. The deer longs to find just a drop of water; humans yearn for something to fill our empty souls.

Everyone needs Jesus just as much as they need water. Some are in the middle of the good life right now. They haven’t become thirsty yet so they don’t know it. Others long for something to fill their dry soul, but they aren’t as wise as the deer. The wild creature knows she needs water. She’ll peel the bark from a tree to share in its liquid while those humans try to fill their dry soul with the sand and rocks of material possessions and destructive habits. Blessed is the one who knows the Living Water is near.

We’ll have times when we stray from the source of our refreshment. And sometimes those around us will fill in our well. The enemy lurks, putting roadblocks between us and our Spring. We’ll find ourselves thrown into the midst of hardship and dry spells. But knowing where our refreshment comes from gives us hope. The Psalmist didn’t give up because He knew His Rock held the life giving Water He needed, and He knew the silence was temporary.

When we haven’t the words to pray because life has become unbearable, Psalm 42 can become our prayer. Things may look hopeless, but when we trust in Jesus, we know He is our hope. We praise when the world sees nothing praiseworthy because we know the Fount of many Blessings and the Spring of Living Water will rescue. In the midst of hopelessness, Hope is on the way.

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About the author

Lynne feels blessed to know Jesus Christ. He's her Savior and her friend, and because of Christ her life is richer. So her passion has become to help others discover their full potential in Jesus so they can have the best life possible!

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