By Randy Edwards
I cannot hear this passage without also hearing in my head and heart an extraordinary solo written with this very text by Dan Goeller. The melodic line, sung by a mezzo soprano, is deeply rich and utterly passionate.
“O Lord, You are my God, how I long for You! How my soul thirsts for you in a dry and weary land. You are my God, so I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
The violas and celli lead the lavish accompaniment, followed gracefully by the violins, double basses, and oboe.
The result for me is goose bumps on my arms and cold chills around the gills!
But the holy shiver down the spine happens only if one has actually been in that spiritual valley where one absolutely yearns and profoundly longs for God’s presence in a me of stress, loss, grief, pain, suffering, despair, or disconsolation.
Over the past few years, we have heard a lot of talk about “first-world problems.” A first-world problem (as opposed to a third-world problem) is one where our internet is running slower than usual, or the iTune player in the car is acting up, when our cell phone battery discharges, or when we are delayed having lunch by an hour or two. First-world problems, when compared to third-world issues – such as no clean water, very little food, no shelter from the storm, and no shoes – seem rather lame and frankly are rather lame when compared to third-world crises around the world.
You and I can become so first-worldly that we actually never long for God the way the Psalmist did. Our always-under-control, well-scripted lives can actually barricade us from ever really longing for the Messiah.
Such was not the case in Ancient Israel. Such is not the case in the hearts of those who deeply long for Jesus today. We realize that, without the Savior, we are utterly desolate, parched, hungry, thirsty, exposed, and alone.
Keep watch! Salvation is closer than you might think!