Deer hunting season has arrived here in Maine, and this mum of four sons has heard a lot more about the habits and methods of dispatching whitetail deer than I really want to know. However, truth be told, I’ve been sharing wooded trails with the deer, bearing witness to deer-ish desire, since we moved to this country hill.
Unfortunately, deer trails and our paved roads often intersect in disaster, for the deer see all this tree-covered land as their territory. A few years ago, at the very edge of “their territory,” we were kind enough to plant a rhododendron salad bar, and they were kind enough to help themselves to all the tender flower buds during the long winter of 2019.
When settlers first paddled up the St. George River and started chopping down trees and swatting mosquitoes, they were the first to meddle with the deer’s trampled trails, but I would hazard a guess that those paths have not changed much in over two hundred years, because deer-thinking and deer-priorities have not changed a whit. Grazing, drinking, and bedding down, the deer follow the predicted path because desire leads the way.
Oddly, even with my upright stance and opposable thumbs, desire often dictates my own daily direction. If my longings take me on paths that lead me away from truth, it’s time for a course correction, a gift I receive from this psalm:
As a deer longs for flowing streams,Psalm 42:1-2
so I long for you, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?”
When I sense in myself a coldness toward God, an insensitivity to sin, or a disregard for God’s Word, I ask him for new desires. Sometimes, all it takes is making the effort, showing up in the presence of God, receiving his unwavering attention to effect a course correction. Of course, there have also been seasons when I have waited long in what felt like the silence of God for the lesson or the growth that was needed.
My lack of desire for God’s Word is no reliable assessment of its value, but, instead, a sign that my heart needs recalibrating so that it measures rightly and values most what is most valuable.
My lack of desire for God’s Word is no reliable assessment of its value, but, instead, a sign that my heart needs recalibrating so that it measures rightly and values most what is most valuable.Tweet
A Guide Toward Desire for God
When a deer wanders into the path of my headlights, I brake immediately and wait for its companions to follow it heedlessly onto asphalt danger. Just as deer travel sometimes in twos and threes, we human types have a way of leading one another into apathy or cynicism. I want to be a guide toward desire for God, and I cannot share what I do not possess.
May you find that the greatest longing of your own heart is satisfied on the path toward the flowing streams of God’s presence, his righteousness in you, his love in you, and his love for you!
Holding you in the Light,
When I sense in myself a coldness toward God, an insensitivity to sin, or a disregard for God’s Word, I ask him for new desires. “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God…”Tweet
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