Psalm 42 // Canyon Song

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in LLYC: The Beat

This week I went for a bike ride with a neighbor-friend, and for the 3,456th time, we wandered onto the topic of LLYC. She, too, had attended summer camp as a teenager. She, too, formed friendships at camp that have endured for decades. She, too, is still struggling to adequately explain to outsiders what was so very special about that place and time. I mentioned to her that the un-official motto of LLYC is The Best Two Weeks of Your Life; she said she believed it.

For me and for many, many others, camp is a respite, a place to take stock of the past and prepare our hearts for what’s coming next. The brevity and intensity of the time we spend there allows friendships to flourish and deepen in a way we rarely experience elsewhere. Psalm 42 has long been a Canyon Song, since it captures the feelings we often feel as we arrive at the gates. We thirst for God, and we recognize that our souls need his living water.

“For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water,

    so my soul pants for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

    When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food

    day and night,

while people say to me all day long,

    “Where is your God?”

These things I remember

    as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go to the house of God

    under the protection of the Mighty One

with shouts of joy and praise

    among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

    for I will yet praise him,

    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;

    therefore I will remember you

from the land of the Jordan,

    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep

    in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,

    at night his song is with me—

    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,

    “Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go about mourning,

    oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony

    as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,

    “Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

    Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

    for I will yet praise him,

    my Savior and my God.”