Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Week: Tuesday.

"As the deer pants for streams of water
my soul pants for you, Oh God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God
When can I go and meet with God?"
Psalm 42:1-2
We went for a drive.
Something we used to do almost every night when we were younger. We would drive together, listening to music and talking about things that we saw. We talked about love, and we talked about God. Just a few nights ago when we went for a drive, we took our children, the redheads.
"Mommy, are we there yet?"
'No, baby, we aren't going anywhere. We're just driving.'

We took the camera and I was thankful. We saw at least 60 deer. I mean, you can only take so many pictures of deer. They all generally look the same, but a few were appealing.
I sat in the passenger seat staring out at these creatures. And I noticed something.
If the deer were separated while eating and got frightened, they did not all turn and run in opposite directions. They first looked at one another, came together and then, as a group, ran away.
They weren't ashamed of their fear, rather they embraced it together as a body.

And that spoke to me.
Because so many times we run alone. We become afraid, anxious, or worried and we remain silent; left to deal with it all alone. We cower away when we become wrapped up in sin and we even choose to completely turn our backs on God and run in the opposite direction. And I believe the Lord must be truly saddened in our approach. I believe that God would want us to grasp our shame or fear, look at Him, come together with Him and run away with Him to a place of safety and shelter.
But we don't. In most cases, we just don't.

The verse that I posted above was written at a time when the author felt distant from God. He was crying out in a deep longing for God that compared to how a deer must thirst after a long drought. The writer longed so deeply to enjoy again the presence of God and the assurance that God was, indeed with him. All of us experience times when God seems far from us. He is miles and miles away in the field when something threatens us. And instead of looking to Him gently, and knowingly letting Him lead us to safety, we run. And many times, we do not even turn around to look back. He becomes even more distant. Even further away.

But He is not far away.
We serve a living God!
In fact, He is so near that simply telling Him that you thirst for Him will quench your heart's yearning desires.
"On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
--John 7:37-38

I learned alot from the deer a couple of nights ago.
I want to be as they are when they are searching for water. Thirsting for the living God. I no longer want to turn away and run alone when something in my life comes up that is difficult, scary, intimidating or shameful. I want to turn to Jesus and let Him lead me. A simple glance in His direction will give guidance that I could never find alone. And if, for some reason I feel alone, I want to turn to those around me who can uplift and guide me. I want to look to them with a security that they will understand. We are part of a body. A people who are supposed to love us in times when we struggle to feel that shelter from the Lord.

Although He is there, [always there], please know it's ok to not feel Him.
You are not alone. We have all been there.
But if you are thirsty for God, on this second day of Easter week, and you turn to me, I will lead you to Him. I assure you He will quench your thirst.

"...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give them shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up eternal life!"
--John 4:14

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