Advent 3, Tuesday, Year A

Inspired by Psalm 42

“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and behold the face of God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’”  Psalm 42:1-3 (NRSV)

As mortal beings, we have powerful material needs.  We need food and water to survive, sunlight and clean air to thrive.  We need positive relationships with other people in order to grow and mature.  And as children of God, we have spiritual needs, as well.  Just as our bodies need food and water, our souls need a connection with the One who lovingly fashioned us and placed us on this good earth.

Even if we have all the food and water we need, even if we have healthy relationships and worldly success, we still need the Lord our God.  People will disappoint us, tangible resources will fail us, and food and drink will leave us sustained but unsatisfied.

And sometimes it’s difficult to see the Lord in our lives.  Sometimes it feels as though we’re praying to nothing, and nothing is what we hear for answers.  Many in this world will try to convince us that we’re hearing nothing because there is no God to hear us, and in times of spiritual distress we’re tempted to believe them.  But though the Lord may sometimes remain hidden from us, he is never apart from us.  That longing we feel is in fact a connection, because there’s a part of us—perhaps the part of us that was made in God’s own image—that knows there’s more to life than our physical reality.

Trust the Lord to hear your prayers, and know his love sustains you even when you’re not aware of his presence.  He has not forsaken you, and he stands with you in your triumphs and your struggles.

Let us pray.  Ever-present God, you will never forsake your people.  Strengthen us to withstand those times when we feel distant from you, that we may still take comfort from our knowledge of your eternal faithfulness.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.