Running and leaping over fences, a deer flees from hunters. Her sides heave and her nostrils quiver. Her heart beats overtime. Her open mouth pants for water. Will her enemy ever stop pursuing her? Where can she get some water to give her strength to keep going?
“As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, So my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1 AMP
We can identify with a deer’s plight, can’t we? Satan is relentless in pursuing us. Every moment is hunting season for him. He will stop at nothing to devour us. He knows where we are the most vulnerable. He batters us with lies: God doesn’t care about you. You’re insignificant to Him and to everyone. You have no purpose in this life. And on and on… He will stop at nothing to discourage us and keep us away from the Fountain of living water we so need to refresh us, energize us, and revive our fainting spirits.
As a deer pants longingly for water brooks, every fiber of our being can long for a refreshing and reviving drink from Jesus, the Fountain of life. Without His life-giving strength, we can’t go on. We try to keep replacing Satan’s lies with God’s truth, but we can become so battle-weary. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Jesus knows when we are too weary to keep going. He constantly invites us, “Come, My child, come. You don’t have to do this alone.” His longing for us is infinitely greater than ours. He is the Fountain of living water that longs to quench our thirsty souls. He is the Fountain of love and mercy that never runs dry. He is the Fountain of sufficient grace that is available every second of day or night.
All Who Are Thirsty
“All who are thirsty All who are weak Just come to the fountain Dip your heart in the stream of life Let the pain and the sorrow Be washed away In the waves of His mercy As the deep cries out to deep, we sing…”
“So God has given both His promise and His oath.
These two things are unchangeable
because it is impossible for God to lie.
Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge
can have great confidence
as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT
On February 3, 9-year-old Serenity Dennard walked out of The Black Hills Children’s Home Society, a private nonprofit that provides residential treatment and programs for children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and neglect, or other trauma.
Dozens of people have searched for her for days, also using a helicopter and 7 scent and cadaver dog teams. Because of cold temps and snow, it turned into a recovery effort. But still no Serenity.
I keep praying, “God, please help them find her!” I keep checking up on the latest search news. But still no Serenity.
God, why won’t You answer the prayers of all the people who are praying? You know where she is. Help, Lord!
When something like this happens, I always think the worst. I fear someone who doesn’t have honorable intentions has picked her up. I’m so scared. Not only for Serenity, but for children who are missing everywhere. My heart aches for them and for their loved ones who must be agonizing on what has happened or is happening to their child, grandchild, etc.
It’s hard not to get distressed or depressed when we know the evil that is happening in this world, whether openly or secretly, to vulnerable children and adults. So much pain and sorrow. So much hate and discrimination. So much abuse and injustice. It can wrench us to the depth of our souls. It can seem so hopeless and we can feel so helpless.
I have been upset with God, because I know He knows where Serenity is. I have been focusing too much on all that is happening in this chaotic world. I have listened too much to all the lies that Satan whispers, sometimes even without my realizing it, that all these things are far too big for God to handle. I have hung onto my pride that my plan is better than God’s. I have let it overwhelm me and I have refused to allow myself to unclench my fists of rebellion and give it all to Jesus.
In Psalm 42, David was taunted, too. He described himself as a deer panting for water brooks, hunted by its enemy. Day and night he wept for God’s help. His enemies scoffed, “Where is this God of yours?”
Two times in this Psalm, David cried out:
“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!”
Despite all the raging emotions in his heart and the taunting of his enemies, he pushed past all the discouragement that was drowning him and grasped onto the hope there is in God. He remembered his Savior, his Refuge, and his Promise-Keeper who never lies. He recalled how strong and trustworthy our Anchor of Hope is.
Yes, we live in a broken world where bad things happen. Where people choose to hurt people. Where Satan is still fighting to discourage us and keep us from our Anchor of Hope. But God is still in control. He is still the King, even though we don’t understand everything that happens.
Someday we will understand. Meanwhile, however much it hurts, may we together remember God knows and loves and cares. Nothing bad that ever happens will change that truth. Without that truth, we have no hope.
I Have This Hope
by Tenth Avenue North
“As I walk this great unknown Questions come and questions go Was there purpose for the pain? Did I cry these tears in vain?
I don’t want to live in fear I want to trust that You are near Trust Your grace can be seen In both triumph and tragedy
I have this hope In the depth of my soul In the flood or the fire You’re with me and You won’t let go…”