"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." Psalm 42:1
Several years ago my wife Martie and I had the unique experience of going on a camel safari in the desert of the United Arab Emirates. We rocked back and forth on top of those ugly beasts for an hour as we perused the quiet of the desert. In the course of describing the attributes of camels, our guide mentioned that they could live for 3 months without water. They are obviously built for the desert.
What a contrast to the sleek, “type A” gazelle the writer had in mind in Psalm 42:1-11. Bounding through the meadows and the forests, the deer is satisfied and sustained on a regular basis by water. He needs it and yearns for it in his fast-paced existence.
How easy it is in the midst of our abundance to be far more like the camel than the deer. Rarely sensing a need for God, some people can go for months without desiring Him. For some of us, life has been a long stretch of religious and secular activity without any sense of utter dependence on Him or sincere desire to know Him. The problem is that we weren’t built for life in a spiritual desert. We were built—redeemed, in fact—for regular, satisfying access to the refreshing presence of God in our souls.
So what is it that keeps us from really longing for and seeking Him? Of all the things that make us like the camel, none is so glaring as the sin of self-sufficiency. We have relegated Jesus to the sidelines, while we go about our business. Cultivating him as our soul mate and supreme necessity for life has somehow escaped us. But it hasn’t escaped Him. He still knocks at our heart’s door to offer the sweet fellowship that only He can bring (Revelation 3:20).
Let’s drink deeply, living in Jesus more like a deer and less like a camel.
- Am I more like the camel or the deer? Why?
- Do I spend time in the Word daily? If yes, what have I been learning? If no, why have I been neglecting this time with God?
- What have I just learned about my self-sufficiency? How has God’s Spirit and Word refreshed me today?