As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God? 

—Psalms 42:1-2

You know, a few days ago when I was doing my Bible study, the Scripture above really hit me hard. Oh my, to pant, to thirst, to crave God is something my soul has always longed for, but I’ll be honest—it’s also something that eludes me more than I like.

So I started to think—what exactly is it that I DO pant and thirst for, crave so much that I surrender my will and my time to it more than anything else? Well, believe it or not, the first thing that came to mind is that sense of peace and relaxation Keith and I experience at bedtime when he snuggles up close while I read my book. He always encircles me with his arm and throws his leg over my body because the elevation helps to relieve his sore hip (sound familiar? Patrick O’Connor did the same thing with Marcy!). With a long, languid sigh, he closes his eyes and says almost every single night—“Ah … the favorite part of my day, babe.” And I always smile because it’s my favorite part of the day too—that moment in time when all my worries and problems fade away as I lose myself in a good book while the love of my life is so very close, both of us resting and reveling in the peace and safety of God.

Then there are those precious moments with my family—oh, how I crave those!!  Whenever we get together, be it babysitting, dinners out or just a quick visit, it becomes a celebration of sorts where we laugh and pray and share the events of our week. It’s fun to catch up and smile over the antics of my granddaughter, especially when she giggles over crazy JuJu’s sad attempts to sway and dance with my hands or when she reaches for one of my books WITHOUT prompting and without being set up (God’s truth … although I did re-enact for this pic!!). What can I say? My granddaughter has good taste in books … 😉

Then of course, I love to go biking with my hubby, which usually begins with breakfast at Panera and ends with black mango tea from QT. But I’ll tell you what—after biking 12 to 14 miles over mud paths and meandering forest trails in the summer heat, I am panting and thirsting BIG TIME for nothing but a tall glug of water.

And then it hit me. I crave the peace and rest with Keith at the end of the day, but that’s exactly the kind of peace and rest I experience with God when I finally turn a problem or worry over to Him. I long for the love and laughter I enjoy with my family, and yet it is so very much like the love and laughter I experience periodically with God when I am overwhelmed by His goodness or beholden to His mercy. And all that panting and thirsting for a cool drink of clear, clean water after an invigorating but exhausting trek on the trails? Not unlike the quench of the Spirit after a rat race of book deadlines and writer’s block, refreshing me so I can continue on with what He has called me to do.

“So, God,” I say to the patch of blue peeking through the breeze-kissed limbs of the gently swaying trees off my lower deck, “How exactly do I learn to thirst and pant and crave You all the more?”

“Run to me,” the thought came.

Huh? Not run after Him, mind you, which implies you can’t catch Him. Not run because of Him, eye on the finish line of being the Christian He has called you to be. And not even run with Him, sprinting so hard to achieve the things He’s called you to do.

Nope, just run.

TO Him.

“When can I go and meet with God?” the last line of our Scripture asks. Not where, not how, not why … but when.

Every moment of every day.  With every giggle and every tear. Every win and every loss. Every need and every sacrifice. With every thought and every breath.

To include Him with a heart of gratitude in every single thing I do, knitting the fabric of my life with the thread of His Spirit. Acknowledging Him, thanking Him, asking Him, leaning on Him, worshipping Him … and suddenly I find myself running to Him like a little child in need of comfort, peace, joy and rest … panting, thirsting and craving Him like the very breath in my lungs.

Because He is. And He should be. The total source of oxygen in our lives. The wind beneath our wings. The breeze in our face. The air in our lungs.

May we all breathe in, breathe deep and breathe often.


August 3-5, 2012: A chance to win your choice of any of my signed books when you join me at Tina Pinson’s blog for MARKETING 101! Hope to see you there, and here’s the link:

Happy weekend, all!