A Psalm of Separation

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God? 

My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me.  For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.  Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

[Psalm 42:1-5]

This psalm gives no background details, no hints of what has caused the separation between the author and his brethren with whom he used to worship in the house of God.  But a breach of some kind has occurred, and his soul “thirsts for God” and laments the inability to appear before Him.

Does this sound familiar?  I’m sure many of us are strongly missing the “multitude that [keeps] a pilgrim feast.”  Several have emailed or otherwise communicated their distress in not being able to assemble for worship and to socialize – to share in each other’s lives and give comfort and encouragement.  But don’t despair!  We shall yet “praise Him for the help of His countenance.”  What a blessing it will be to meet again!