Reading the Word
As the deer pants for the streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Reflecting on the Word
Our longings for God may not be as ravenous as David’s, but they are as real. Because the hunger hurts, though, we try to take the edge off it in any way we can. One of those ways is with religious activity. And that can include the activity of reading books, listening to tapes, or going to seminars. Through these things, which are often very good things, even nourishing things, we are fed the experiences of others. But they are not our experiences. I can read a psalm about David crying out from a cave in the wilderness, and I should read that psalm, but it is not my psalm. It is not my psalm because it is not my cave, not my wilderness, and not my tears.
For so long in my life I expected my experience of God to be like one of those psalms, structured with pleasing rhythms, full of poetic images, a thing of beauty and grace. What I learned is that those psalms were borne out of great hunger—a hunger that no food on this earth can satisfy.
“He who is satisfied has never truly craved,” said Abraham Heschel, and he said this, I think, because he knew that heaven’s richest food does not satisfy our longings but rather intensifies them.
Windows of the Soul
Responding to the Word
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
- W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God