Summary: Like the deer pants after water, the people of God are often hounded by adversity and the enemy of our souls. Often we find ourselves running the wrong way, becoming thirsty and dry spiritually. It's time we started running to Jesus, our only true sourc
On the Run and Searching for Water
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, and in a moment of time the temporary high disappears. Drugs and alcohol are nothing more than tools that men use to dull the reality of the pain in their hearts because of the emptiness and sinking feeling of the meaningless life that they live without Jesus, a life without purpose or fulfillment.
If only all of mankind would allow Jesus to fill that place in our hearts that only he can fill, what a wonderful world this would be. Sadly though, that will never happen.
Even as Christians who serve God faithfully, we often find ourselves in the same position as David in this verse, “We are dry and thirsty, and in desperate need of that water of life that only Jesus can give.”
As long as we are in this world there is always a battle to fight. Sometimes the battles are with natural enemies, those who seem to be chasing after us all the time to take what we have worked hard to earn, or to steal that which God has blessed us with. Our constitution may guarantee our right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but that guarantee is only as good as the constitution itself and right now that constitution is being trampled underfoot by the powers that be and when the constitution is disregarded then life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are in jeopardy as well.