[ A psalm by David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.]
“O God, you are my God.
At dawn I search for you.
My soul thirsts for you.
My body longs for you in a dry, parched land
where there is no water.”
Have you ever thought about the term “wilderness”? It looks like it sounds…”wild-er-ness.” It’s “wilder” than the normal places of trees, “green” vegetation, and water. It’s “wilder” than most people choose to live in. Dry. Harsh. Less of everything that would be considered “nice.” Wilderness is a small step up from desert…minus the beauty.
Picture how David describes his wilderness…..
- He is experiencing “wilderness” in a way that he needs to call out to God; he reminds himself of Who God is to him. He’s been through a wilderness night, with all of its darkness, vulnerability, shadows, strange sounds, and the fears that swell in our hearts when we are utterly alone;
- As the sky begins to lighten by the yet-unseen sun’s gentle glow, still beyond the horizon, the fears of the long, dark night begin to slowly dissolve.
- Throughout the darkness of the night, he became aware of his thirst….for water, surely, but also a deeper thirst in his soul.The wilderness experience focuses our attention inward, and the deep dryness of soul is felt….without distraction….and without any way for us to bring relief to that deep place.
- The growing thirst in our soul drives us to look for some relief… something to quench and ease the gnawing awareness of deep need of fresh water for our parched lips, dry mouth, dehydrated body and sad soul.
Whatever drew us to that wilderness place has only increased our need ….physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We come face to face with our present reality, and it forces us to look up. The night is over.
And God is there.