Sunday, July 22, 2012

Deer Water

Deer Water
July 23, 2012
Psalm 42:1 "As the deer  pants for streams of water, so my soul pants  for you, my God.."

Deer are mammals that need a great deal of water.  Pound for pound, deer actually need about twice the water consumption than humans.  Despite living in moderate climates, a constant water source is not always available, certainly not guaranteed.  Deer can metabolize a good portion of their water from plant matter they ingest, but it takes a lot of leaves to generate the full amount of water they need. It is far easier to drink from a flowing stream than it is to suckle the leaves of the forest for five quarts of water a day.  Because of this need for so much water, they work hard to identify permanent water sources.  Deer prefer clean moving water as opposed to stagnant ponds, but they will take what they can get.  When their young are born, they teach the other family members where the good water is located.  This is critical to their survival.

Since deer have such a deep dependence on a reliable source of good water, a refreshing watering place becomes a place of comfort for them in times of difficulty.   If they need a lot of water quickly, or when they are hurt or dying, they immediately head toward their comfort source of water, panting heavily for it.  They need it; their survival depends upon it.  It is instinctual for them to run to that water source.  The Psalmist understood this about deer when he penned the words of this Scripture: "As the deer  pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God."  This is an analogy of a dire situation in need of refreshment.

When this Psalm was written, the author was in a deep and troubling time in his life, knowing the only thing that could help his ailing spirit was the refreshing presence of the Lord Almighty.  His soul was in anguish and required the Lord.  But the writer was not suggesting that the only time he needed the Lord was when he was in trouble.  He recognized that he needed the Lord's presence daily, but when he was in trouble, he needed MORE of the Lord and he needed it NOW.

It is far easier to run to a water source in an emergency when you know where it is located.  For deer, if they don't have a permanent water source, then in an emergency, finding it can be difficult and could prove fatal.  The Psalmist was grateful for his permanent water source, a known place of refreshment where he could get more in times of trouble.  So often, people, even Christians, only turn to the Lord when they are in trouble.  The Lord did not intend for us to live this way.  He desires to be the permanent water source for your spirit, keeping you refreshed at all times, even more so in times of trouble.  But turning to Him only in an emergency is only crippling yourself.  The path to the spiritual water source might not be so easily traveled in times of difficulty if you haven't traveled it daily.

Deer run to their known water source when they are in trouble.  Where is yours?  When your spirit is in dire need of refreshment, who is the first person you call upon?  Is it a family member or is it the Lord?  When your soul is thirsty beyond belief, what is the first thing you turn to in order to quench it?  Do you turn to a sleeping pill, a glass of wine, or an unhealthy relationship?  Or do you desire the Lord?

Though the Psalmist was in trouble, he at least knew what was needed.  He needed refreshment from the one who gives living water.  How deeply do you long for the Lord today?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Psalm 41 & 42, Psalm 119:82, Is 26:8-9, Is 58:11, John 4:7-15, John 7:38

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