Psalm 42; Matthew 5:6

Psalm 42:1

Deer are simple creatures. They are usually skittish, running from perceived danger in a zigzag to confuse predators. They hide by melting into the landscape around them. But when the predators press in and neither running nor hiding work, deer head for the water. They instinctively know that water will hide their scent so they will avoid be chased further. Water also quenches their thirst after a long chase.

It is this kind of longing that the psalmist describes. He is exhausted by the attacks of his enemies and by the taunts of his people who challenge him, “Where is your God?” All the psalmist can think about is finding the waters of God’s righteousness where he can find safety and satiety. He knows the Lord is there; he ends the psalm determined to praise Him in spite of his fear, his depression, and his circumstances.

When we hunger and thirst for righteousness in this way, God is faithful to meet us where we are (Matthew 5:6). He alone can satisfy our deepest needs and He alone can calm our fears no matter what our circumstances may be. In Him we find protection and peace. No matter how dark our days feel, He is with us. His righteousness ensures justice; we can trust His faithful love for us. Even when we feel lost in the dark, we can praise Him, knowing that His righteousness will prevail.

The Rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61.

These are strange days. No one knows what the next weeks or months hold. Insecurity breeds fear which leads to irrational behavior. But for those who know the Lord, there is a refuge. From the end of the earth, from the end of our resources, from the end of everything familiar, God hears our prayers. He is the Rock that stands as a strong tower and fortress. We can take refuge in Him.

This world is in chaos. God is not. He hears us. He has given us the heritage of those who have gone before. We can choose to praise Him, even in the middle of the unknown. When our hearts are faint, He knows. From the ends of the earth, He is with us.

He is the rock that is higher. Take heart.