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Satisfied in You (Psalm 42)

 

Satisfied in You (Psalm 42)
The Sing Team
Ryan Leech


Have you ever experienced loss or felt despair?

Me too.

I think that is part of what makes us human in a broken world. Unfortunately, I think the Church as a whole has a hard time expressing these emotions. As a musician and worship leader in the church, I feel the pressure to convey every emotion in any given week but this one is hard. Guilt for sin? There's lots of songs for that. Repentance? Sure. Lament and sorrow for loss and tragedy in the world? That's more complicated.

Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?

So, this past week, I introduced a new song called “Satisfied in You” by The Sing Team. It is a slow, sparce tune echoing the words of Psalm 42, a song from the Sons of Korah (who wrote many of our Psalms) that is often titled "Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?" The psalm begins:

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
        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 say to me all the day long,
      “Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?

Have you ever felt this way? When you long for God to be near when He feels so distant from you while you eat your tears day after day and night after night even as you pour your soul out?

You are not alone. The psalmist understands. I too have felt this way. Even more, Jesus knows this, has felt this, and is with you. Scripture says that when Jesus' dear friend Lazarus died, he wept (John 11). He felt the pain of loss. He felt sorrow and anguish. As he was dying on the cross, he felt the pain of losing His Father as he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27).

Jesus knows very deeply what it is to feel distant from God. 

Hope in God, For You Shall Again Praise Him

The pslam ends with this:

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

Hope is the cure of the grief-ridden soul.

Friend, the Lord is with you. You shall again praise Him. Your safety and salvation comes from the same God who sent His Son to experience loss, sorrow, and sadness so that He may be your comfort and hope of the coming day when there will no longer be tears of sadness but tears of joy in His wonderful presence.

May this psalm and song encourage you as it has me.

May the Lord bless and keep you. May His face ever shine upon you.

Lyrics

I have lost my appetite
And a flood is welling up behind my eyes
So I eat the tears I cry
And if that were not enough
They know just the words to cut and tear and prod
When they ask me, "Whereʼs Your God?"

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when You showed Your face to me

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for You
And when I behold Your glory, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

When Iʼm looking at the ground
Itʼs an inbred feedback loop that drags me down
So itʼs time to lift my brow
And remember better days
When I loved to worship You and learn Your ways
Singing sweetest songs of praise

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when You showed Your grace to me

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for You
And when I survey Your splendor, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about Your faithfulness
Let my pain reveal Your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is You
‘Cause all I truly have is You

So when Iʼm drowning out at sea
And all Your breakers and Your waves crash down on me
Iʼll recall Your safety scheme
Youʼre the one who made the waves
And Your Son went out to suffer in my place
And to tell me that Iʼm safe

Why am I down?
Why so disturbed?
I am satisfied in You

I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You
I am satisfied in You