What is something in this world that you don’t think you could live without? Maybe it’s something as simple as coffee or chocolate. Maybe it’s something more complex such as friendships or family. All of us have something that we feel a deep longing for.
In Psalm 42 we see that the writer of the psalm has an intense desire to be in the presence of God. There is a tendency to see the first two verses as describing a calm desire to spend some time with God. In reality, this psalm is one written out of agony and painful longing. The writer feels as if they will die unless they can encounter the presence of God. What might our lives look like if we had this kind of longing for our God?
As we live out our worship, being in the presence of God becomes a central desire for our hearts. We long to worship because we long for God. Having a longing for God means that we search for him throughout our day. It means that we see his hand in the events of the day. It means finding fulfillment and joy when we spend time with him.
In the Old Testament longing for God’s presence often meant longing to be in the Temple. The Temple was the place where worship could happen. In our day things are much simpler as we can experience God much easier. In the New Testament Christians are called temples of the living God. We understand this to mean that God can relate to us anytime and anywhere. We know that we don’t have to be in church to experience his presence.
When we understand who God truly is and what God has done for us, we will long for his presence. It is likely that we have all experienced times in our lives that we needed to hear from God or feel his presence.
Have you ever had a time that you really needed to hear from God? What was it like to be waiting for him to answer? What was it like when he finally did answer? Maybe you need to hear from God right now in your life. Maybe you are like the psalmist who is in agony because God seems far away. Take heart and know that God is your Savior and your hope. Ask him to make himself known.