Psalm 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.”
I have been completely beside myself with excitement. This week our local high school performed three showings of the iconic musical Grease. The music, the acting, and the dancing dazzled the audiences, and I have find myself bopping around the house and singing the familiar tunes over and over again.
The Ups and Downs of Young Love
The high school version, toned down from the original with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, portrays the ups and downs of young love. From Roger’s mooning over Jan, Doody’s being enamored with Frenchy, Rizzo’s working out a complicated relationship with Kenickie, to the main love triangle between Patty, Sandy (played by our own sweet Abigail), and Danny, each character desperately desires to be wanted and loved.
One of my favorite scenes occurs after Danny jilts Sandy for Patty. Completely heartbroken, Sandy pours out her grief in the song Hopelessly Devoted. Despite all the hurt Danny has caused her, she continues to hang on tight. Her head tells her to forget him, but her heart says don’t let go. Why? Because, she sings, “I’m hopelessly devoted to you!”
Hopelessly Devoted to You
I couldn’t help wondering as I listened to the heartrending lyrics, to whom am I hopelessly devoted? For whom would I give up everything? My husband? My friends? My children? While my allegiance to these dear ones is incredibly strong, should they be the main focus of my whole life?
David, the writer of Psalm 42, had a different perspective. This man understood passion. He had many romantic relationships as well as children and close friends. But he wrote that his deepest desires lay somewhere else. He longed after his God with his whole being. In the same way a thirsty deer desperately pants for water, David’s heart panted after God. His tears, his difficult experiences, his strained relationships with those who ridiculed him, served only to create an even deeper desire for his Savior and His God.
God’s Everlasting Love Keeps Us Satisfied
David understood that unlike Danny Zuko God doesn’t play games. He knows our thoughts, never misunderstands our intentions, and doesn’t desire us to be someone we are not in order to bestow love. In fact, we are the ones who push His perfect love aside. Yet He still pursues us with passion. His open arms are waiting for us to return. And when we do His goodness and mercy can keep us satisfied all the days of our lives.
Our high school’s musical performances of Grease are now finished. The familiar and upbeat songs of the fifties we have enjoyed for weeks will slowly stop replaying in our minds. But the haunting cry of Sandy Dumbrowski’s song remains. There is only one Person Who can give us the love we deeply desire. In the midst of all the blessings and difficulties of life can you say with David, the Psalmist, “Lord, my soul pants like a deer panting for water . . . I am hopelessly devoted to You!”