Day 5: We Need You
Read: Psalm 42
There’s something you should know about me, I’m a huge sports fan. But it’s hard to be a sports fan when spending spring break with my grandparents, who keep the news on, day and night. Of course, the hot topics while I was with them was COVID-19 and Joe Biden, and I honestly didn’t care to hear about either at the time. Shortly after I decided to watch some basketball on my phone, my grandparents stole back my attention during a commercial break as they began talking about another NBA game that was cancelled due to “unnamed reasons”.
Everyone suspected it was due to COVID-19, and they were right. One of the players on the team had tested positive and, as a result, the game had been cancelled. An hour later, an announcement was made that the NBA would be halting all games until further notice; a decision that eventually led to the cancellation of all sporting events in the nation. It was at this moment that it finally sunk in for me. Life wasn’t going to continue as normal.
Just days before all of this madness began, I had read Psalm 42. This particular psalm begins the second “book” in the larger volume of Psalms in the Bible. Chapters 42–72 express the fears of the people. They reveal our need for someone greater than ourselves. The psalmist uses the words thirst and pants to describe the visceral, primal human need for God. Relationship toward God is not just something we turn to if we have time, it’s a matter of survival. We need Him more than the elementary provisions of water and air—He is our sustainer.
The psalmist goes on to pour out his pain and fear at the feet of the Lord, crying out, “My tears have been my food day and night” (v. 3). He then asks, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (v. 5), indicating that this pain is something he is incapable of dealing with. He has not been able to rid himself of the trouble he’s fallen into, a hopeless situation where he has no control. But, thankfully, he does not have to deal with it on his own. In fact, he can’t, and it’s beautiful because of that! The only answer is “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (v.5–6). His pain leads him to God, and what is he met with? “By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me” (v. 8).
God was not a second thought for the psalmist when he fell into suffering, he instinctively turned to God. This is the language of a man who has discovered the secret to life, a wholehearted trust in the sustaining power of God. Right relationship with the Lord is lasting satisfaction—He is all we need, and often we need Him far more than we realize. The moment we try to deal with the trials of life on our own is the moment we begin to lose our grip.
Praise God that we can come to Him with confidence. When we call on the name of Jesus He is eager to come and sustain us. In John 15 an equally potent metaphor is used for our need for God: the vine and the branches. As we abide in Christ, pursuing Him and letting our thoughts and desires be transformed by following His commands, our thirst is satisfied. He is faithful to give His sustaining power to anyone who asks of Him (Lk. 11:13). We may feel like we are in a weird place, but the reality is He has already won the war over our fear, uncertainty, pain, and doubt. The psalmist ends with this beautiful declaration, “Wait for God; I will yet thank Him, for He is my deliverance and my God.” We are forever and always His.
It’s easy to pretend everything’s fine until the pain becomes unavoidable. Here’s my challenge: run to the Lord. Run as fast as you can, and don’t look back. Pray to Him honestly about how you are really feeling. Lay it all out on the table, your fears, desires, doubts, and hopes. Like it says in Hebrews 10:23, “for He who promised is faithful.” He is near, even in the pain and doubt, and His steadfast love will satisfy every longing.
God, we need you. Help us to run to you, even when it feels uncertain, for you have already won the victory. Pull us near to you and help us to trust that your way is best. May we rest in the promise of your faithfulness and your steadfast love, for we know that you alone can satisfy.
Author’s Note on Photograph: This photo captures my current obsession with being outside, enjoying the sun. Being outdoors, specifically going on bike rides, has been a wonderful escape from being shut in indefinitely. It has given me a new appreciation for everything the Lord has created, and in turn how much I see His design in everything.
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Oh,Emma your words captured our Lord! We need to always run to Jesus and into arms and Everlasting Love. Thank you for this enlightening writing. Hugs
Emma thank you for sharing your heart . . . So inspiring and time appropriate. Made me think of one of my favorite old songs “When God Ran,” by Bennie Hester.