Psalm 42 expresses precious insights on the unwavering pursuit of God amidst navigating difficult moments in life. The psalm started with “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You” (verse 1). This is how we should seek God if we want a face-to-face encounter. This inward thirst touches God’s heart. He is ready to answer the hungry with the greatness of His power and the abundance of His goodness. Our spiritual longing for a drink is answered with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the nature of God, there is just no measure in what He is able and willing to give to His children. He reveals His glory in the midst of our brokenness and our deepest needs.
In the middle of the song the sons of Korah wrote,
“Deep calls unto deep at the sound of Thy waterfalls; All thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over” (verse 7).
The whole psalm is full of powerful imagery of what happens when we hunger and thirst for Him. And this verse captures a profound truth, that when we pursue Him in times of desperation and danger we are met by His overwhelming Presence- the roaring sound of the waterfalls and the breakers and waves of a mighty ocean. The imagery is captivating yet certainly the reality of His Presence.
The psalm ended with a powerful revelation expressed in an internal dialogue leading into a deep transformation. “Why are you in despair O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God” (verse 11). We always live in this ongoing tension between feeling trapped in a desperate situation and yet trusting Him, believing that He will breakthrough for us.
We must choose to dive deeper into His Presence no matter what. It is this unwavering pursuit and hunger to see God’s Face and His mighty acts that lead us into a deeper revelation of Who God really is – in us and for us. We are presented with these rich insights in every line of this empowering song. Indeed, there is hope to behold in the midst of our struggles.