Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yearning for God so much it hurts

When I study scripture in my personal time with God, I usually take a chapter, parse it out by paragraphs and then begin to paraphrase it. I consider the context – who, what, where, why, when. I consider what has come before and what is coming after. I consider what type of literature I am studying – is it poetic? Is it wisdom? Is it prophetic? And so on. While considering these things, I begin to paraphrase the passage and in so doing, I apply it to my life.

Recently my eyes have rested upon Psalm 42. I've read this Psalm many times before, but I haven't fully appreciated what God is saying through the life of this Psalmist. When I discovered that this Psalmist is a worship leader, my soul perked up. Here is someone who led worship in the temple of God, yet also struggled with keeping his eyes focused on God when all things seemed dreary at best.

I decided to share with you my paraphrase of this Psalm. I would encourage you to read Psalm 42 side by side with my paraphrase or to at least read it before you read this paraphrase. I would not suggest that my paraphrase is exegetically correct, but it does help others get into my heart and mind a little as I sort out my thoughts and emotions through the reading of God's Word.

Verses 1-4

My all yearns for You, God, so much I hurt. It's like how a thirsty deer yearns for fresh water. My sadness has overwhelmed me, my lack of faith brings darkness upon me. I am unclean and unprepared to meet with God. I recall those times when I have led worship in front of the congregation with celebration and joy and thanksgiving. How can I do that now?

Verses 5-8

Why do I lack in faith? Why do I despair? I need to wait upon the Lord, for I will yet again praise Him for His help and deliverance. Yet right now I am still in despair. I recall Your guidance in my life and the victories You have accomplished on my behalf. Even in the times when I have felt like I was in the deepest darkness, You have refreshed me with abundant water, for my cup overflowed. I know You are so faithful – I see Your blessings of mercy throughout each day and at night You sing lullabies over me. This leads me into prayer and conversation with You, God.

Verses 9-11

At times I say to You in anger, "Why?" "Have You forgotten Your promises regarding me?" I continue to mourn because of all that the enemy throws at me. Sometimes his oppression is so great it is crushing me, causing those around to ask, "Where is your God?" I say to myself, "Do not despair, put your hope in the eternal God, and praise Him." For He will deliver and prosper me from the confines of death and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.


  1. "My Soul Longs for You", Misty Edwards "Relentless" album.

    Continuing in prayer for your family.

    Diane B.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I am blessed to know that I serve a God who loves me unconditionally! I am praying for you and your family.