“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
‘Where is your God?’”
Psalm 42:1-3 (NIV)
Some Christians think that a believer should never be discouraged or downcast. They seem to always have a grin on their faces and can be overbearing with pilgrims who have come to a dark time in their pilgrimage.
Is it sin for a believer to lose their sense of the Lord’s presence? Are we supposed to go around smiling and happy in all circumstances? Do we have a lack of faith when we feel alone and vulnerable to the forces of evil?
When you read the stories of the Lord’s people in Scripture you soon find out they wrestled with the Lord to gain peace of mind and the sense of the Lord drawing near to them.
The vast majority of Christians who find themselves in a spiritual wasteland turn to the Psalms for comfort and to know they are not alone as they struggle to keep their heads above water.
Here we are in familiar territory as the Psalmist pours out his heart and cries for the Lord to come and comfort him. He struggles and seems to get nowhere. Day after weary day he calls into the darkness and all he hears is the sound of his own voice mocking him.
In spite of the fact his efforts produce nothing he carries on hoping against hope for an answer from the living God.
The Psalmist knows that the Lord answers prayer and is full of compassion to the weary. But why are the heavens as brass with his cries echoing back to him? Back and forth he goes from despair to hope day in and day out.
The very important lesson we learn from the Psalmist is that you press forward regardless of the silences of the Lord. The man does not give up. He pushes on regardless of the fact his prayers feel useless.
Can you push on my friend? Can you trust the Lord when you cannot understand Him? The Psalmist concludes with these words. May they echo the sentiments of your heart also.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”