As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?“ Ps. 42:1-3
Dear heavenly Father, your Word gives voice to every season, circumstance, and emotion we experience in the journey to the new heaven and new earth: In our inexpressible joy and in our haunting despair, in times of strong faith and in seasons of crippling fear, in weeks of “getting in” and during months of feeling clueless… and in everything in between, you are with us and you are for us. You are Immanuel.
You don’t love us more when we have dancing hearts. You don’t love us less when we have doubting hearts. Indeed, with kindness you drew us, and with an everlasting, unwavering love, you hold us. It’s not our grasp of you, it’s your grip on us that matters.
Today we bring tired, discouraged, weary hearts to you—those of friends and our own. Lord, sometimes the demands of life outweigh our emotional resources: The hard providences and the difficult people; the aches and pains of the tents we live, and the cars and plumbing that break down; friends who bury their wives way too early and children who seem allergic to the gospel; mounting bills and decreasing monies, all this a world of voices saying, “Where is your God in all this?”
Lord Jesus, you know what this is like—you better than anyone else. For you took the ultimate combination of assaults and insults during your life on earth, and especially on your cross. No one has felt the messiness of a broken world and the weightiness of a broken heart like you. And you did it all for us…
Your cry, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?” assures us that we will never be forsaken—never, even when life mocks us—even when, like John the Baptist, we question if you’re “the one” (Matt. 11:2-3). It’s your thirst on the cross that assures us that our thirst is fleeting, not fatal. Indeed, as we pant for you, Jesus, you are running to us with the living water of the gospel. We give you praise for your understanding and compassion. We adore, trust and collapse upon you, once again. So very Amen we pray, in your faithful and tender name.