panting deer

i’ve recently been struck with thoughts about deeper issues of life. i’m struck with what we really mean when we say and do certain things. for example, at christmas time, it’s not that we really want the gift our friends get us, but we want to know they are thinking about us and care. it’s not that we really want to go to that movie, but we don’t want to be left out. it’s not that we want someone to do something because we asked them, but rather because they thought about it and wanted to on their own.
this applies with god too. it’s not that we really question his existence (though i can see how some at certain times may), but it’s that we really question does he care enough about us to respond to us when we pray. in eugen peterson’s messsage bible, he writes hebrews 11 saying “because anyone who wants to approach god must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.”
the thing i love about god is, he cared first. he did the big gesture first. james 4 says “draw near to god, and he will draw near to you’. that takes all the pressure off. we already know he’ll check yes. we already know what he’ll do, the get closer. he answers the deep questions we have. he speaks to the deep yearning of our souls. he cares.
perhaps this understand of god is what the psalmist was thinking about when he sang “as deer pants for the water, so my soul pants after you”. we all pant. we all pant for different things. but no matter what we’re panting for, we’re all panting for the same thing – to be known and accepted. perhaps there are other things we pant for, but at the deepest level, don’t we all want to know where we stand with people? don’t we really want to know someone cares for us?
i guess all i’m saying is, i’m realizing i pant like a deer.

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