As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1
The heartsick can be satisfied. The faint can be healed. The weary can be rested in the fullness of Christ.
Where else can we go but to God when we seek to be satisfied?
As a deer longs for a water brook to quench its thirst, so our thirsty soul longs after God.
I remember when the words to this Scripture came alive in my heart. I was playing guitar on the song team at a Walk to Emmaus retreat. I definitely do not consider myself a good singer. I can carry a tune and I can strum a guitar – that's about it. But I really enjoyed participating as a member of this song team.
The team leader asked me to sing a solo of the popular song "As the Deer" penned by Martin J. Nystrom.
I was vaguely familiar with the song but I learned to love its words and sound. I practiced several times hoping I'd sound decent. The song team leader helped me mark my sheet music to clue me when to breath. I was so nervous I was holding my breath. I certainly didn't want to pass out on the altar at the church.
We were in an old Methodist church with beautiful stained glass windows. The sound of the organ and guitars filled the room. After several rehearsals of the song I was ready. "As the Deer" was on the agenda for the afternoon session.
We moved into the talk room where we heard from pastors and lay people who shared their stories and encouragement. Before each talk the speaker chose a favorite song. One of the pastors asked us to sing "As the Deer".
The song leader looked at me and said, "Gigi, you're on."
"But wait! My song sheet with my notes is in the sanctuary. I can't do it without those breathing notes. I'll sound terrible in this tiny room."
"Just pray and ask God to help. You'll do just fine."
"Turn in your song books to 'As the Deer'. Gigi will sing the first verse and we'll join in on the chorus." She began to play the piano.
My voice cracked and I got through the first verse. I looked at the banner on the wall.
There was a white cross with a colorful crown leaning on the cross bar. Below the cross big letters spelled out the theme of the weekend "Our God is an Awesome God."
I got to the verse that said "You are my friend and you are my brother, even though You are a King."
The cross reminded me of the sacrifice. The crown reminded me of the royalty of our Awesome God who loves me as a friend. I'm a child of God and He is my brother.
The reality of it all swept over me and I burst into tears right in the middle of the song. I couldn't go on.
The song team leader took over and invited the whole group to join in song. We worshipped for a long time and it was beautiful.
Every time I hear that song I'm taken back to that weekend.
Several years later my husband and I became best friends with Marty and Jeanne Nystrom. Marty wrote that song during a time in his life when he was seeking spiritual fullness. He was on a twenty-one day fast when the words and music flowed on the piano keys. It was so cool how God used it to touch my heart at that retreat.
We all hunger and thirst for the things of God. I pray today that you realize He is a King and You are His brother. Drink deeply in this truth.
God Bless your heart with fullness of spirit.
The idea for this blog post came from the July 3 devotional entry in the God Calling book by AJ Russell.