Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional April 6, 2014

Scripture

Psalm 42

1   As a deer longs for flowing streams,
          so my soul longs for you, O God.
2   My soul thirsts for God,
          for the living God.
     When shall I come and behold
          the face of God?
3   My tears have been my food
          day and night,
     while people say to me continually,
          “Where is your God?”

4   These things I remember,
          as I pour out my soul:
     how I went with the throng,
          and led them in procession to the house of God,
     with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
          a multitude keeping festival.
5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
          and why are you disquieted within me?
     Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
          my help 6 and my God.

     My soul is cast down within me;
          therefore I remember you
     from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
          from Mount Mizar.
7   Deep calls to deep
          at the thunder of your cataracts;
     all your waves and your billows
          have gone over me.
8   By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
          and at night his song is with me,
          a prayer to the God of my life.

9   I say to God, my rock,
          “Why have you forgotten me?
     Why must I walk about mournfully
          because the enemy oppresses me?”
10  As with a deadly wound in my body,
          my adversaries taunt me,
     while they say to me continually,
          “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 again praise him,
          my help and my God.

Devotional

Psalms 42 speaks about longing for God as a deer longs for streams. There is an interesting thing about deer longing for sustenance. They search for it. Deer come through my backyard rather frequently, and every once in a while I catch them through the window. Their movements appear random, but on closer observation, they are searching. They look over every inch of my yard, sometimes stopping to smell or even taste the plants, grasses, and weeds. To “long like a deer” is to move, to search, to work, to look, to examine and consider. To see and smell and touch and taste. It’s to seek and strive. A longing deer does not stand stillnot for long. It has to move, to find that for which it longs.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.