As the baby craves human touch so the human soul craves its Maker’s touch. We need more than yesterday’s blessings. We need today’s blessings. And just like a baby cries for more than just food, the Psalmist here cries out to God for more than just water to quench his thirst for God. He puts this human experience, the soul’s craving for its Creator, into words that have resonated with generations of believers going through a dry spell (Psalm 42:9):
“O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?”
The desert is a rather uncluttered terrain, which I personally find intriguing. Not an abundance of vegetation going on! Not much wildlife either! Therefore sounds and smells are clearly reduced. If your brain is reeling, you feel maxed out and overwhelmed with an impossible work load, picture yourself in the desert, with absolutely no clutter to go through, no decisions to make, no problems to solve, phone and internet connections stripped away, no people, no issues, just you and God. I suspect that’s why prophets of old loved to retreat into the desert or climb onto a mountain: to come to an undisturbed one-on-one with God. Sometimes this is what it takes – to remove oneself for a little while to find God and regroup.
I believe with all of my heart that finding God is finding oneself. And that’s not just a once-in-a-lifetime-event. It is no accident that we need fresh food every day. Actually, old and moldy food would eventually kill us. In the same fashion the soul needs a fresh touch from God. God knows how much we need Him!
Psalm 42:5: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!”