By Chuck Griffin
A psalm of David, regarding a time
when David was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
The word “desire” may evoke a powerful feeling in you, one likely tied to some important event in your life.
Maybe someone close to you had a strong desire for alcohol, ruining relationships. Or maybe it’s a positive association, your lifelong desire for someone else making you a better person.
It is easy to see that desire is neither good nor bad in and of itself. What matters is what we desire.
The psalmist here demonstrates a deep desire for God. From the psalm’s introductory heading, we know it is by or about David, the valiant shepherd and eventual king of Israel.
Despite the passion for God expressed here, we also know David had moments where he could forget about God and make terrible decisions, his baser desires overwhelming what should have been, on a rational level, easy choices.
David has been famous for thousands of years, but he’s also much like us, isn’t he? Where we choose to aim our desire can turn our lives in one direction or another very quickly.
There is another danger where desire is concerned, too. If we suffer from a general lack of desire, we may find ourselves twirling aimlessly, like a sailboat with no wind.
It is good to be passionate in holy ways. Many Christians remember that initial passion for God and God’s word after coming to a belief in Jesus Christ. If desire has faded, it can be restored by a deliberate effort to spend time with God in his word and in prayer.
Desire propels us. We just need to be sure we are moving toward God.
Lord, where our desire is wrongly aimed, pull us back toward you, and where the flame for you has died down, fan it to new heights. Amen.