“As the deer
pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for the living God. When I go and meet with God?...Why are you
downcast, O my soul? Why are you so
disturbed within me? Put your hope in
God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
1, 2 &11)
I never fully valued water until I moved
into the high desert in Boise, Idaho.
The mountains that surround Boise are beautiful—the very tops are
wonderfully adorned with trees and wildflowers.
When you are atop Bogus Basin (elevation 7582) you can see out hundreds
of miles, looking at the blue layers of receding mountains.
The rivers that flow in the valleys, at
the base of the mountains, are famous for their whitewater. Yet, step away from the rivers, and those
seasonal streams begin to disappear as the summer waxes more intense. The rivulets that run down our hills are soon
gone, and the wildflowers that lined them (the beautiful blue camas) are soon
just a spring memory.
Yet, the copses of trees that decorate
the hillsides tell you that yes, water is still around, and the trees have sunk deep
roots to keep in touch with it. I don’t
see or hear the water any more, but the trees stay green, even in the summer’s
heat, so the water must be supplying them continuously, or the trees and shrubs
would soon disappear.
The rains have disappeared as well. We have a phenomenon here called “dry rain”
where you can see the rain curtains coming down from dark clouds, but the heat,
rising up from the valleys, causes the rain to not hit the ground. You might feel a drop or two, but that
refreshing rain stays maddeningly up in the atmosphere, and doesn’t fall to the
So, it would be easy to say, there’s NO
water around here! But, then I look at
the copses of trees all though out the hills, and realize that the trees know
where the water flows (even if it’s underground) and survive because of
The Psalmist thirsts for God—he has not
drunk of His water for a while and the heat of suffering has left him dry and
parched. I see deer on my property all
the time, and I know that a priority for them is looking for water. If no water existed at all in these hills,
the deer would disappear in the summer months—but they don’t. They know too where the water flows, and
survive because of it!
The Psalmist wants to meet with God—the only remedy for thirst is to go to the
Source and drink deeply: it is that deep
refreshing that sustains the Psalmist.
The heat of suffering doesn’t suddenly cool down—it’s still hot and the
rains don’t fall. But, the Psalmist
knows where the Water is and survives because of it!
You are indeed the Water of Life in a dry and dusty land. The hot winds blow, and the hills are
parched, but I know where the water is, and I will survive because of it! It’s in You and You never run dry. In the Name above all Names! Amen.