Thirsting for God, and coming up empty - Psalm 42
I think we’ve all been there. Feeling empty, dry, and spiritually in need. We seek God, but He seems so far away.
So what are we to do?
David expresses a very similar situation in Psalm 42
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God."
If we look too quickly it seems that David has gone astray. That he is a deer that has left the brook and needs to return to it. But that’s not the case. Deer aren’t like some animals that might loose their way, or choose to stray from the riverbed. No, the issue isn’t that the deer has left the stream, but that it has dried up. The same is true for us, sometimes we may be seeking God, serving Him, and the stream can still seem to come up empty.
As we keep reading, David describes his intent to go before God in fasting, and in prayer, while others mock him saying “Where is your God?” He remembers times of great spiritual highs when he would lead people into the house of God singing and dancing. But that’s not where he is now.
It’s in these times of spiritual dryness that we need to take a proactive stance in trusting God. Rather than staying in memory lane, yearning for “the good 'ole days” and wishing for different circumstances, David speaks to himself and reminds Himself that God is actually with him. Although he doesn’t feel God, he reminds himself that God commands His love on him during the day, and sings songs over him at night (Psalm 42:8).
"Even when God feels distant, we can trust that He still loves us." (tweet this)
The same is true for us. When we go through trials, or worse: through spiritually dry seasons, we need to speak the truth of God’s character and plan over our lives. Not that God guarantees us a life of ease. Or what we would consider physical success or breakthrough in any given area of life. But better than either of those, He promises that He will use everything for our good and for His glory.
So whether you’re going through extreme difficulty or spiritually dry season, know that God is using it so that you may grow to be more like Him, and so that His plans may be fulfilled - and we are guaranteed that ALL of His plans are for the best.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing… Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:2-4, 12