Every time I get a nasty cold, I have some problems with my asthma. Inevitably, upon exertion, I start the “asthma pant.” It’s that pursed lips thing that you do trying to suck the last bit of oxygen out of every breath. I am grateful that that kind of panting doesn’t last very long.
But there is a panting that I want to be more pronounced in my life-it is the panting or longing after God and His word. The Hebrew term “saap” means to “gasp or wait eagerly or hurry for.”
In Psalm 42, David remarked, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” And in Psalm 119:131 He went on to say, “I opened my mouth, and panted, for I longed for your commandments.”
Dr. Watson in his book, A Hebrew Word for the Day wrote, “Just as that laborer longs for a little shade, or just as a traveler in the desert pants for the cooling breeze, or just like a stag that has been hunted in the chase and is hard pressed and therefore pants for breath, or just as a climber of Mount Everest pants harder for oxygen with each step higher, that is how David longed for the word of God. What a picture! And oh how we should pant, plead and pray for God’s word.”
It is just so easy to get side tracked with any number of responsibilities or diversions. Some are good, some not so. But the challenge is to truly long after the refreshment of God’s word.
During the summer months, most of us have a little more time to spend with the Lord. And this week might be a good time to check our personal schedules. Are we “panting” after Him and His word, or just “tipping” him with a few scattered moments here and there?
If we did a time study of our standard week, does God get the lion share of those 10,080 minutes or are we consumed with entertainment? (Ouch. But it is a good thing to consider.)
There are lots of ways to develop a routine of Bible study and prayer. Here’s one that has helped me…. think of those “devotional moments” as a divine appointment. We certainly don’t want to make Him wait on us so let’s try to hurry to those precious “quiet times” and eagerly “pant” to spend time with our Savior.