One of my fondest memories about growing up in church was the Maranatha Praise Books we used. The music wasn’t as loud or intricate as modern worship music, but I still loved opening those books and singing those songs.
One of my favorite songs was “As the Deer.” It was a simple song based off of Psalm 42. Here are the lyrics to the first verse.
As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship You.
I definitely had that verse memorized long before I had ever read Psalm 42. I don’t have a lot of the Psalms memorized, but the image of panting after God like a thirsty deer always sticks out in my mind.
Last weekend when we were on our high school winter retreat, “As the Deer” came to my mind again. I was spending some time in silence and solitude and realized that I desperately need to spend time with God. Just like that thirsty deer pants for water, my soul longs to spend time with God.
Unfortunately I don’t always feel that desperate need for God. Instead of always feeling the need to spend time with God, I’m like a deer that doesn’t know it’s thirsty until it’s drinking. It’s only when I make the time to spend with God that I realize how much I need and want that time.
I know it would be better if I always had that deep desire to spend time with God. I think that desire would push me to carve out more time for God regardless of the busyness of my schedule. At this point, though, I’m happy just to have that feeling at all.
What helps you want to spend time with God?