For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. 1 A deer longs for streams of water. God, I long for you in the same way. 2 I am thirsty for God. I am thirsty for the living God. When can I go and meet with him? 3 My tears have been my food day and night. All day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” 4 When I remember what has happened, I tell God all my troubles. I remember how I used to walk to the house of God. The Mighty One guarded my steps. We shouted with joy and praised God as we went along with the joyful crowd. 5 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God. 6 My spirit is very sad deep down inside me. So I will remember you here where the Jordan River begins. I will remember you here on the Hermon mountains and on Mount Mizar. 7 You have sent wave upon wave of trouble over me. It roars down on me like a waterfall. All your waves and breakers have rolled over me. 8 During the day the Lord sends his love to me. During the night I sing about him. I say a prayer to the God who gives me life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go around in sorrow? Why am I treated so badly by my enemies?” 10 My body suffers deadly pain as my enemies make fun of me. All day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” 11 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God.
Our psalmist is remembering better times, remembering being in the presence of God’s people, even leading them to worship. He longs for this and God’s presence once again.
God can seem a long way off when we are depressed, answers to prayer don’t come, life becomes difficult, friends or family even question that God exists. Our psalmist is in this situation. It can be an easy route to drift away from God, even blame him during these times, but our psalmist is showing us a better way – one of courage, perseverance and a choice to encourage himself to worship for he knows that God alone is our hope.
Thank you Lord that you give us the way of life and wisdom in the psalms. That others have experienced dark times, that you have been there for them and so you will be there for me, for us. Jesus you are always near, my hope and my God.
Written by Suzie Hodgson