“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” – Psalm 42:1 (NIV)
In the wildlife, a common feature is predatory animals chasing after less ferocious ones, which on a bad day become good dinner. Through the savanna plains of Africa the antelope tends to suffer that fate. After a long chase from a mighty lion, cheetah or leopard; antelopes that survive tend to retreat to a fresh water spot. There they gladly refresh their quench with streams of water.
King David, must have been more familiar with deer, though, which are very common in the Northern Hemisphere. For us in the tropics can substitute the deer with our antelope, commonly chased by predators. After a long chase, they pant for wells of water.
The significance of this metaphor is that whenever we encounter any situation that puts us on a chase, where do we run to? Habakkuk 3:19 says, “The Lord God give my strength. He helps me run fast like deer. He leads me safely on the mountains” (Habakkuk 3:19).
Two things of note here. The Lord can make us run as fast as the fastest antelope being chased by a predator to a well of safety. And of course, as we run, we have that the well of God to end up to and refresh ourselves! For David ends this psalm with a simple advice, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today like the antelopes of the wildlife I run to you that I may pant from your well of life, which refreshes my soul, this I pray in Jesus’s name!