If you have ever wondered about the meaning of this scripture and the song that was taken from Psalm 42, perhaps this borrowed thought will deepen your understanding of both the text and the song.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
The male deer is a single-minded creature. Once its sights are set on its goal, nothing can dissuade it. It will battle opponents to the death in order to succeed. Even for a drink of water, the male deer will not be stopped.
Such single-mindedness is what the Lord desires of His children. The Lord loves to see real commitment that changes lives. To live for the Lord means to give oneself to Him, body, mind, and spirit. As the deer pursues the cooling brook with all that it has, so must we pursue our Lord.
With this thought in mind, notice how David continues Psalm 42:
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 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.