Tuesday, October 11, 2016
While no one would dare argue that the 23rd Psalm is the most well-known and most quoted Psalm in the Bible, I often think the first few verses of the 42nd Psalm would come in a not too distant second. It is a Psalm about spiritual longing. "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God." (Psalm 42:1-2) We can understand something about the desire of longing. A hungry person longs for food. A thirsty one longs for a drink of water. A lover longs for the one whose presence brings great joy. But, still this physical longing that we experience is a poor comparison to the kind of longing put forth by the writer of the Psalm.
There is something within us is which in being created by God can never be satisfied apart from knowing His presence. While we spend great amounts of our money and time caring for the physical part of our life, it is really made of temporary stuff that will desert us in old age and most assuredly in death. The body is made only for the earth, but the soul within us from the moment of conception will survive even death. It is our God given means of knowing our Creator while inside this temporary physical body, and, finally, when the body is done, it is will become our means of sharing eternity with Him. The soul longs not for more stuff, but more of the presence of God.
Unfortunately, most of us suffer from soul neglect. We live as if it is an incidental and unnecessary part of our life when in fact soul nurturing is the essence of life. The soul is nurtured only through its life with the God who brought it into being. Jesus once said, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell." (Matthew 10:28) The soul. It is important. It connects us to God at conception; sustains us in our life; and delivers us in death.