“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1, ESV). This memorable image begins the forty-second psalm, which continues to describe the psalmist’s yearning for a sense of God’s presence and mercy. The longing of a deer (or a man) for water makes a picture of the soul’s longing for God—“the living God” (v.2), who alone is able to give life, and to satisfy the thirsty soul.
God, and God alone, can satisfy the deepest yearning of our hearts. Seeking satisfaction outside of Him is sure to fail; but when we draw near to Him, we find in Him the wholeness and mercy we need.