By Lillian Sparks
Today's Scripture: Psalm 42:2
Central Thought: Only God can satisfy the longing of a thirsty soul.
Have you ever been separated from your family for a long period of time? Were you ever a stranger in a distant land, far from the comforts of home and the support of friends? Often separation brings loneliness and longing. When the pursuit of medical intervention for my sick child took us to the small, bustling city of Busto Arsizio, Italy, I experienced the intensity of separation for almost three months. Facing weeks of painful hand surgery, physical therapy, and treatments, the waves of isolation and homesickness were like the swells of the ocean crashing upon me, one right after another. Coming up for air on occasion was only a temporary relief.
The Psalmist knew the pain of separation. Banned from public worship, David was heartsick and downcast. His pursuit was not fleeting comfort or a life of ease—the pleasure of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul. Just like after a drought the panting deer longs for the cool, bubbling brook, or the hunted hind searches for the refreshing river—so our weary, thirsty soul pants after fellowship with the Lord God. David did not consider this communion a luxury, but an absolute necessity like water to a fainting fawn.
Like Hagar in the wilderness, a runaway with an empty skin bottle who finds the well dry and must drink or die, David's deepest desire is for God Himself. He doesn't long for the temple, the singers, or the congregation—but for divine presence. Nothing else will satisfy the deep longing of his heart. He thirsts for the 'living God” because He will give 'living water,” which will quench the most parched soul. His deepest need calls to the deepest of God's resources, and he is satisfied.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that the deepest longings of our souls cannot be satisfied by the accumulation of our possessions, momentary successes, and occasional accomplishments. Only You, O Lord, have the resources to quench the spiritual thirst of our souls. You promised that when we thirst after You…we shall be filled.
Today's Bible Reading: Job 28:1-30:31; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 22:7