My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:2a, 3 (NRSV)
Have you ever cried so hard that you got dehydrated? I mean that literally. I have several times. You get a pounding headache and swollen face, eyes are strained, mouth parched yet fed with salty fluid.
Sometimes I cry that hard, painful cry on the inside. I get spiritually dehydrated, and my inward tears cascade like a suffocating dust, caused by an unrelenting deluge of injustice and oppression. My soul deeply thirsts for hydration—a trickle of hope from the Living God amidst the flood of death, and my parched voice crackles out, “Where is our God?”
Our souls thirst for God, for the Living God.
In their despair, the writer of Psalm 42 takes sips of hope from the well of memories: times when they poured out their soul in praise and thanksgiving, when they drank full cups of God’s greatness. God was their rock, but now that rock is damming up those streams of gladness, and their soul thirsts.
These days, I identify with the psalmist, wallowing in their disquieted soul. They want to cry out with praise but can only manage a hoarsely whispered reminder to themselves: “Hope in God, for I shall again praise God, my help and my God.”
We need God to rehydrate our souls with some of that Living Water, just as they have done before. Not so that we can cry more, but so that we can cry out with praise. Until then, we’ll sip from memories of hope.
Our parched souls thirst for you, Living God. Rehydrate us with streams of Living Water. Amen.
Chris Mereschuk is an Unsettled Pastor in the Southern New England Conference with a call to transitional ministry.