I can imagine the Psalmist, free yet not so free, walking in solitude along a brook. He has the freedom to walk about in his country of exile, but he is not free to go back to his own land.
There is a longing in him to go back to his home, to see again the wonders and delights therein. He remembers the joy, the feasts, the celebrations. But they remind him of his present state as a prisoner of his enemies.
He despairs. His enemies mock him. Doubt threatens to shake his faith to the very core.
Then he spots a deer lapping at the waters of the brook. And God speaks to his heart.
The Psalmist’s longing should be a longing for God. It should not be a thirst for things he has seen or experienced, but a thirst for what is already within him … a hope, an inner voice – “deep calls unto deep” – the God who does not forsake.
Many times we are like the Psalmist. We live in a world that is not ours. There is a longing within us to escape the trials that beset us. We envision a better place and a better life.
Yet we must realize that a longing within us should be directed towards God. He alone can bring us the peace in our hearts, that which surpasses all understanding. It is his voice we need to hear, for from him can come heavenly wisdom to live fully in a world of exile.
Indeed, our home in heaven awaits. And every moment of our life here on earth is a step towards that home. But we need the Lord of the House, Christ Jesus, to lead us there.