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By Rev. James May
I know that I’ve told this before, but I want to begin this message again by bringing to your mind the story of the lion and the gazelle that dwell on the Serengeti plains of northern Africa.
Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will not live to see another day. Every morning the lion wakes up and knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it may starve to death, and never see the sun rise again.
The moral of this story is that whichever you are; whether you are like the lion, and feel as though you are king of your world and all is well, you better be ready to run with all your might; or if you are more like the gazelle, timid and shy, and feeling nearly defenseless against the predators in life that seem to be ever after you; when the day dawns and sun rises, you better be ready to run for your life!
I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I have felt like the lion. I was on top of the mountain and all was well, yet there was always this nagging feeling that I could not stop because the top of the mountain doesn’t go on forever; and that the time was quickly approaching when life would see me going over the side and falling swiftly into the valley once more.
I’ve also discovered that I spend a lot more time going down into, staying in the depths of, or struggling to climb out of the valley, than I have on the mountaintop. I’ve also come to know that it is not on the mountaintop as much as it is in the struggles of the valley that faith in God is built and made stronger.
The bible refers to different animals as representative of the people of God in varying circumstances.
Psalms 44:22 says, "Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter."
Isaiah 40:31 compares us in some ways to an eagle. "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
In our passage for today found in Psalms 42, David compares us to a hart; or a deer.
Psalms 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
First of all we must take note that God has placed within each of us a natural desire for seeking the truth of his existence. Though many men will suppress that desire and even deny its existence because they refuse to give God a place in their lives, yet that emptiness and thirst down deep inside cannot be quenched by anything other than the presence of the Lord. There is a place in the heart that nothing, nor anyone else can fill, but Jesus. So many today search for something to satisfy that longing down inside, but nothing can make them ultimately happy.
You can give a man all the wealth of the world and it won’t satisfy the emptiness of his heart and soul. King Solomon had so many wives and lovers that his palace was becoming crowded but no other person can fill that void that only Jesus can fill, and in the end Solomon could only say that all of life was filled with vanity; things that have no meaning without God. All of the excitement of travel, vacations, sports, or accomplishments in the world of business cannot slake that thirst,
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