By Mark D. Roberts | Monday, August 13, 2007
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Thank You, Gracious God, for times when life is hard, when I can’t handle life’s challenges on my own, when I realize that my wisdom and my resources are inadequate. In these times, as much as a part of me hates them, I have no choice but to remember how much I need You. And in these times I can feel the longing of my soul for You.
Without You, dear Lord, my life would have no purpose. Without You, I’d faint from exhaustion and fade away. Without You, my discouragement would mount up higher and higher, with no hope of relief. Without You, my soul would be parched without satisfaction. So I yearn for You, Lord, yes, like a deer. You alone can satisfy my soul. You alone can refresh me. You alone can renew me. You are my life!
The first lines of Psalm 42 have astounding power to touch our hearts. In 1984 Martin Nystrom took the words of this psalm and put them to music:
As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee
For more than two decades, this simple song has been one of the most popular in the praise and worship genre. Even now it’s the 28th most popular song, according to the CCLI listing.