As I’ve been writing about these Psalms, I’ve been struck by the range of human emotions they exemplify. But these poems are about more than just human experience: in each, the focus is on God, a constant both throughout and outside of whatever situation the Psalmist is going through. In Psalm 42, the struggle isn’t anything to do with security or safety or self-identity – instead of crying out for God’s help in a certain situation, he’s crying out for God himself.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Where can I go to meet with God? (Psalm 42:1-2)
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. (v7)
Why have you forgotten me? (v9)
Where is your God? (v10)
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? (v11)
Put your hope in God, for I will praise him, my Saviour and my God. (v11)
It’s hard when we feel far from God. But this heartache I think proves that we are longing for God. Often I find myself longing for his guidance, his security, his wisdom. This psalm is a challenge for me to long for God himself.
Joanna is busy reading, writing and revising her way through her final few weeks as a student in the gorgeous and totally instagrammable city of Durham. She loves God and loves people, and you can usually find her with one or two close friends; eating or making yummy food, drinking tea and externally processing whatever decision needs making that week!