Making a List
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2
You've likely seen it many times... and perhaps remember doing it yourself as a child. You stand in a long line in a crowded shopping mall. Kids are screaming and moms and dads are losing patience. Cheerful music plays in the background as the chaotic scene plays out. Finally, it’s your turn. After hopping up in his lap, Santa asks the question you've been waiting to answer... dreaming of for months... ”What do you want for Christmas?”
Your answer spills forth with gusto. You've been preparing to meet with this jolly fellow. You've researched and put a lot of thought into what you want this year. And yes, you've been good all year long. After you've spilled out all the toys and trinkets you want, he hands you a candy cane, snaps a photo, and wishes you a Merry Christmas as he sends you on your way.
How often do we treat God like Santa Claus? We come to Him with our list prepared. “I've been good, God. Here is what I want from You.” The items on the list may be different as an adult... good health, safety, financial security, peace, etc. But are our hearts any different than the child’s sitting on Santa’s lap? How often do we commune with God for who He is and not for what He gives?
The words of the psalmist in Psalm 42:1-2 are so foreign to most of us, aren't they? How many Christians can honestly say, “My soul pants for God like a deer needing water?” In verse 2 he asks, “When can I go and meet with God?” The beauty is that because of Jesus, we don’t have to go and meet with God. He lives in us! There is no line, no waiting, no once-a-year event. You can speak with Him now. Day or night, quiet or loud, church or home... we can choose to crawl in His lap and have a conversation.
This is a privilege that should not be taken for granted. God should not be used for what we want. He should be worshiped for being all that we need. The deep thirst in every human soul can only be satisfied by a relationship with God through Jesus. None of the trinkets of the world can quench a thirsty soul. So let’s throw our lists away and meet with God with empty hands and a willing heart. Only then will we enjoy the true Living Water.
Dear Father, You are all that I need. I don’t always live like I believe that, but I know it is true. Please change my heart so that it is fixed on You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.