As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You. (St. Augustine)
My eyes opened and I peeked out from under sleepy eyelids to see what time it was…5:00am! I should’ve gone back to sleep but all I could think of was hot, brown, yummy coffee with cream and sugar! I had awakened to the prospect of sipping a mug of “wake me up and make me happy” goodness, so drifting back to sleep was pretty unlikely. As I sat in the dark waiting for the beep that would signal “the best part of waking up,” I became acutely aware of a lacking in my hunger for God, or at least, a weakness of fervor compared to my morning passion for a cup of Joe. Yuck. I don’t want that to be true, but there it is…the whole, caffeinated truth of it.
How does the soul pant for God? We have been made for Him and even if we do not believe He exists, our souls know better!
There is a “sacred place” within us that longs for its Maker, remembers its true home, and yearns to be with God.
It is why, I believe, it matters to us that our lives have meaning. It accounts for the angst we experience when we are silent, or condescend to sit still. In the spaces between moving around and being busy with this or that, we can feel our soul hunger for God. This part of us doesn’t believe for a moment that we “just happened” after a big bang, but retains the precious truth of our origins. Sadly, it is possible to ignore our soul and after a while, we can become impervious to its longing for God. I’m not sure there is anything more profoundly tragic than that a soul should forget that it belongs to God.
The image of a deer panting for water is a vivid picture of focused desire, not unlike my morning quest for coffee. “Wanting” so often is driven by habits and hungers, both real and imagined, so how do we tune into our soul’s desire for God? How do we learn to sit patiently next to Him, when everything in us wants to squirm away and fill up with temporal things?
I want to learn to follow my soul’s yearning into God’s presence and hold myself there long enough to experience His embrace.
I want to drink in the Lord more fully and not get up until my soul overflows. I need to slow myself down, linger in prayer, ponder God’s word, and savor the joy of belonging to God. His company is what I want to anticipate when I peek out from sleepy eyelids in the morning and He is what I want to fill up with each day.
“Lord, help me to pay attention to the hunger pangs of my soul and learn to want You, as I open my eyes in the morning. Call my soul to come and teach me how to enjoy Your presence more fully. Amen.”
What about you?
Did you pant for God today?
Are you aware and paying attention to your soul’s longing for God?
How do you bring your soul to God?
You have been made for God. He is your home and place of rest.
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