This week we’ve kind of been all over the place, because I’ve been all over the place. From Atlanta to DC to Virginia Beach and then back to DC. Before we totally move on from deep calling out to deep that I wrote about on Monday, I think there’s an important component to the context that we’ve missed.
On Monday I talked about how the Psalmist is crying out for more of God and declaring, “From the deepest part of my soul, I’m calling out to meet and connect with the deepest part of yours.” Ahhh….that still gets me every time! Love that!
Anyways, what’s interesting to me is that the Psalmist is not writing this when his life seems to be on track, everything his perfect, and there is no suffering in sight. Rather, this is a time of distress for him.
The two Bibles I rely on most have two themes in front of Psalm 42 that I think further demonstrate the tone of the Psalm, one is titled “Yearning for God in the Midst of Distress” and the other is “A thirst for God. When you feel lonely or depressed, meditate on God’s kindness and love.” In this distressing, lonely time, the Psalmist chooses to cry out for more of God.
The best picture I can give you is to read read more of the Psalm:
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”…Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalm 42:1-3, 5-8
Even though he is distraught and others are questioning where his God is, the Psalmist chooses to long for more of God and cry out to Him. To praise him in spite of his suffering, to rely on God’s love, and to trust that even though things are hard, God is there.
This is such a beautiful picture to me, because when suffering comes, I tend to run in the other direction. I allow my doubts, my fears, and my hurts to cloud my vision and lose sight of the fact that God is still with me.
The Psalmist isn’t pretending like things are perfect (yes, I’m guilty again), but He acknowledges his pain and suffering and still says, “God things are so hard right now, but my soul is still longing for more of you.”
I’m definitely not there yet, but that’s what I want. To say no matter what my circumstances, “God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!“ (Psalm 63:1, Message)