“As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1
There is a song that has this same line in it, as a young adult it was one of my favorite songs to sing. There is something beautiful about the use of nature in praising God. He created it all, and it all brings Him glory. A peaceful serenity comes to mind when I picture a deer grazing along the bank of a stream, slowly bending down to drink from the cool water. Other than in movies, I have never seen this occur. Yet, my soul connects with the picture painted by the writer. It is something I desire in my life, the peace.
The writer didn’t have automobiles, bright lights, guns and fences to contend with in the imagery of his mind. Unfortunately, my soul can also relate to the deer running head first into the on coming car. There are times in my life that I have felt God warning me and I still ran headfirst into the situation. Just like a deer has to face the consequences of its actions, so did I. I’ve taken risks that should have killed me. I have also ran into situations that took me time to recover from physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I can also relate to “the deer in the headlights” being completely caught off guard by things. Moving to New Mexico was one of those things for me. New Mexico was never on my radar, no water, far from my family, I knew no one and it was the middle of COVID. Imagine my surprise when I crossed I drove into the area and felt like “I’m home.” Even when my husband asked if I wanted to return to Arkansas, where I have spent most of my life, I didn’t feel like it was right to go back. I am surprised to feel like I am in New Mexico for a purpose.
Although I hope to never be able to relate to the deer facing a shot gun and death, there are times that I have allowed the enemy to deceive me into thinking that I was dead. I allowed myself to believe his lies and stopped pursuing the calling God has on my life. I stopped listening to the voice of God, my creator, and who He says I am. I stopped listening to Him telling me what I need to do. I sat down and allowed pieces of me to be carved away as I allowed others to define who I was and define the calling on my life.
The other thing I can relate to is the deer held captive by a fence. Deer can actually could jump over fences. This I have been blessed to see. It is beautiful and graceful when a deer sets himself free from the fence. I often find myself constrained by my own limitations. I fence myself in, not aware that the fencing isn’t really holding me captive, I am. Like most children, I was told I could do anything I set my mind too. No one told me I had to be careful not to limit where I set my mind.
This year, one of my top priorities has been to consistently spend time in God’s presence daily. I long for that closer walk, like a deer longs for the cool water. I long for the peace and serenity that comes in His presence. Once you have been there it is easy to want to stay, I believe that is what is driving the large crowds in Asbury. God’s presence. I haven’t been there, but I have watched hours of the live stream and feel His presence. It draws me in. Listening makes me long for Him more.
Prayer – Lord, I long for more of Your presence. I am tired of settling for less than you have for me. Help me to obey your promptings so I am not left tending to avoidable injuries. You are never caught off guard, let me walk in Your wisdom and knowledge. Let me walk in who You say I am and stop listening to all the other voices. Lord, most of all protect me from my own self imposed limitations, I know if You call me to it, You will see me though it.
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