As a deer pants for the water

Psalm 42, NKJV

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation[a] of the sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.[c]

6 O my God,[d] my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

9 I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

****
On my “diet” I have to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. I have to drink it all day long, each and every moment. God made my body that way to need water. Most Americans are in a constant state of physical dehydration. Medicine.net says that

Our bodies require a certain amount of fluid intake on a daily basis to function

We must drink God’s word all day long. Meditate on it. Think on it. Pray on it. That is how we are made. When we do that God works in amazing ways.

We can drink a lot one day — but if we don’t drink any water the next day, we will get thirsty. We can be dehydrated by the end of the next day. On the second day we will be extremely debilitated and confused. According to Wikipedia

Be advised that death due to dehydration can occur in 3 days (or less in hot weather) and no one normally lives more than about 5-6 days

We need water like we need the word of God. This is so very important. Sometimes we are surrounded by the word of God in church, missions activities, and the books we read but do not drink in the word of God for ourselves.

Isn’t it amazing that Newsweek reports this week in their headline: London whale’s death tied to dehydration. Dehydration? The whale was swimming in water!

I have been challenged to get out of my studies, my books, my everything and make sure that I first read God’s pure word before doing all of those other things. Don’t get me wrong, studies are good but the words of man aren’t the pure Word of God. They do not have the same power or the same nutrition for our spirit.

I was challenged to count the number of pages in my Bible and divide it by the number of days left in the year. I then have two markers in my Bible. Each day I read either 7 pages in the Old Testament or 7 pages in the New Testament (I alternate.) I want to completely (re)read the New King James Version for this year. It is a simple but great way to read the Bible.

We can get dehydrated! In fact, when we exercise and sweat — we need extra water. I believe those involved in spiritual warfare need even more water. The tougher things get, the more water of God’s word you need.

Jesus says about his bride , the church, that he will “cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26-27

Do not dehydrate! Read God’s word for yourself. Don’t just listen to televangelists, videos, books that give you bits and pieces — pick up God’s Holy Word!

I am burdened for our missionaries to the Tuareg in West Africa. Her husband is four and a half hours away conducting discipleship. This is important. (I cannot tell you their names but you can call them Mr and Mrs Tuareg.)

Lord, please help us to focus on your Word. Strengthen us with the water of your Word. We pant for your water and need you. Thank you that I am allowed to own a copy without fear of physical death. Please be with other Christians around the world who are denied the right to have the Bible. Lord, be with our missionaries to the Tuareg. Please encourage Mrs. T and help her as she misses her husband. Put your angels of protection around her. Multiply the efforts of Mr. T as he disciples believers. Let your Holy Spirit fall upon them. Be with them. Help those whose faith are weak make their salvation sure. Encourage the weak who doubt. Give us wisdom to reach the Tuareg. In Jesus name. Amen.

Showing 2 comments
  • Steve Bogner
    Reply

    Interesting thoughts! I got here from Jeff’s site – from my home in Cincinnati to a Jesuit in the Philippines to you in Atlanta – what a trip!

    Another way I’ve thought of this requirement for water is the notion that God’s Spirit is a well, or a spring, inside us. Once we connect, or find, or realize the existence of that well/spring inside us then we’ll never go thirsty.

    I remember reading this from an old Catholic nun – St Teresa of Avila – who wrote a book titled The Interior Castle somewhere back in the 1400’s. As I was reading and blogging on that book a couple years ago, a Pentecostal friend found strong analogies between that book’s description of the Spirit and his own tradition’s understanding of it. Just goes to show we’re all more alike than different, and that it’s the same Spirit inside us all. We may divide ourselves, but we can’t divide the Holy Spirit.

  • Jeff Pioquinto,SJ
    Reply

    good contemplatio. i was able to use it for my prayers. thanks and God bless.

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