Suffering and the savoring of God

These phrases are in the same short Psalm:

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2a)

and,

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?" (v. 3)

and,

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? (v. 11a)

and,

Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. (v. 11b)

The psalmist is experiencing two different emotions at the same time: a hunger for God and the pain of suffering. The two are not mutually exclusive, although sometimes, it may seem that way. When we are in deep suffering, we may be tempted to not worship God. We might cry out to Him for help, but we maybe don't enjoy Him.


It is possible to do both at the same time: savor God and suffer.


Actually, in the case of the psalmist, it is the suffering that is causing the hunger for God. He's going through some sort of suffering where he is reminded that he needs God.


Sometimes, we can be so comfortable in our lives that we don't feel our need for God. And sometimes, it's suffering that brings us back to reality: We have nothing without God. We are nothing without God. We are in desperate need of Him. It is in our lowest moments that we can all the more appreciate God's goodness and mercy toward us.


In your suffering, seek God and be satisfied.

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