1 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:1-4
This Psalm was written while David was fleeing from Absalom and hiding in the wilderness of Judah. “But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth.” Psalm 63:11
Why I love this Psalm so much is because it is a powerful statement of trust and belief in the face of adversity and pain. David may be surrounded by an arid wilderness and a parched land but in his heart are springs of living water.
Many years ago I was on a rather long run on a hot summer morning. I knew that at the half way point there was a convenience store that sold cold water. As I ran I began to think more and more about that store and the water. I found myself running a bit faster than normal and as the sun became hotter all I could think about was quenching my thirst. When I finally came to the last upgrade I could see the store and I knew in a few more minutes I would drink in the refreshing cool water that would revive me and give me the hydration that I needed to complete the run.
I long to thirst for God like I did for that water. I can identify with David that to quench your thirst is life giving, but to quench your thirst for God through constant seeking and prayer is the ultimate dream and goal of Christians.
Most of us will go through wilderness experiences in our lives when we are discouraged and thirsty for relief. There will be times when disappointment and pain seem to be our constant companions and no relief is in sight. It is then and only then that we can comprehend what David is experiencing in Psalm 63. But David doesn’t give up, blame God for his problems, nor curse him for his circumstances. Instead he finds himself longing and thirsting for a deeper and closer connection to God. David has learned through years of mistakes, sin, and broken hearts that his only anchor in the storms of life is God. When everyone else has abandoned him God is still there. He knows, that God’s love “is better than life,” and as a result his, “whole being longs for,” Him. As Christians we often say that we want that type of relationship with God but we allow things to get in the way of crying out to God.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about my relationship with God lately and I’ve come to the realization that in my mind I want to have a deep trusting relationship but my actions say quite the opposite. I find that when adversity happens to me I don’t find myself being drawn closer to God but try to solve the problem on my own. That is always a bad mistake.
I find that I have time for a number of things I like to do but I have to find time for prayer and my Bible doesn’t get open nearly as often as it should. What I really want are all the blessings of a deep and wonderful relationship with God without putting any effort into it.
It takes work to thirst for God because we have to know Him personally before we can truly long for Him and most of us are not interested enough to make that type of commitment. We go to church for an hour, give our offerings, act pious at work and treat our neighbors with respect and that gives us the right to call ourselves Christians. But it is only in the adversities of life when we are put to the test that we honestly discover whether or not we thirst for God.
The work of Christianity is to build a relationship with God, not doing things to earn merit with God for salvations sake. To come to a place in our life where we thirst after God with all our heart takes energy, desire, love, trust, and those characteristics don’t become part of us without knowing God. And we don’t know God if we don’t talk to Him through consistent honest prayer. We don’t know God if we don’t fellowship with fellow believers who encourage us and pray for us and lift us up when we are hurting. We don’t know God if we don’t search the Bible cover to cover to know His will and His promises and His love for us.
You and I can’t expect to have a relationship with our children or spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend or the people we work with if we won’t find time to be in their lives. And we won’t have a relationship with God if we place it at the bottom of our priorities and place it last on our “to do” list.
To come to the place where we can cry out like David only happens because we have thirsted for God like men and women thirst for water in an arid land. Psalm 62:6-8 tells us, “ He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
David is able to have confidence in what he writes in Psalm 62 because he has a long history of trusting and relying on God through the adversities and pain of his life. When David comes to his wilderness experience he is not unprepared for it spiritually because he has a foundation in trusting God.
David gives us two pieces of advice if we also wish to find comfort and support in our time of need. He tells us, “trust Him at all times,” and “pour out your heart before Him.” The result will be that “God is a refuge for us.”
Only In God by John Michael Talbot – for Heather
* Many people around the globe are currently experiencing persecution for their faith in God, and many even unto death, for the love of their God. They need our support and prayers. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…