A Place to Lay My Head

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O 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 men 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 with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. (Psalm 42:1-4)

As The Deer
Words and music by Martin Nystrom
© 1984 Marathana Music

As the deer pants for the water
So my soul longs after you
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship you

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship you

I want You more than gold or silver
Only You can satisfy
You alone are the real joy-giver
And the apple of my eye

The above scripture and the song ‘As the Deer’ was on my heart and lips again this month. Again I was thinking about the deer and its thirst. As previously mentioned I had a thirst for worshiping in song that my home church and family did not share. Over the years this thirst has led me to go visit many churches and congregations. Again this month I have felt this thirst. This left me feeling as if I am continually seeking and searching for a place to meet with my living God. It also felt as if I had no place to lay my head. I desperately wanted to rest in the presence of my living God, to feel His peace among His people. I know He is always with me and I can meet with Him on my own. But there is something about coming together with one Spirit in His body and singing the Lord’s praises with one voice that I desperately need. (Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 12:13) This led me to the following scriptures.

Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus replied, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
(Matthew 8:19-20)

There was also no room at the inn.

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.
(Luke 2:7-14)

The manger, the first place Jesus lays His head; This will be a sign to you. This is the sign to the shepherds! Look what accompanies the telling of this sign; the glory of the Lord shone around them. It was the glory of the Lord and a great company of heavenly host praising God. The peace of God is also there. This is what I was longing for; His glory, His peace, His living presence. I was longing to be among His people and praise Him in unison with one voice. Look what happens when God’s people come together to do this.

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: He is good; His love endures forever. Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
(2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
(Exodus 40:35)

…so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
(1 Kings 8:11)

The glory of the LORD fills the place where people are joined together in unity praising His name and it surrounds His people as they sing His praises. The word glory in these OT verses means weighty and glorious.


kabowd (kaw-bode’); rarely kabod (kaw-bode’); from kabad; properly, weight, but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness: -glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able); kabad (kaw-bad’); or kabed (kaw-bade’); a primitive root; to be heavy, (numerous, rich, honorable; causatively, to make weighty), lay heavily

The glory of the Lord has a deep, weighty rest that hovers, overshadows and soaks whenever it is present, especially in corporate worship. A deep heavy sense of peace accompanies this glory. Sometimes this ‘cloud’ is so thick and heavy that one can not stand. One must sit or lie resting in the glory of the Lord.

This past month I have experienced this rest, this peace, this glory of the Lord in a very special congregation. As I was soaking in the Lord’s presence among the praises of His people in this congregation, tears came to my eyes. It was as if the Lord answered the cry of my heart after all these years of searching and showed me a place to lay my head. The place to lay my head is wherever His presence is, wherever His peace and glory richly rest. This is where I can go to be refreshed, renewed and strengthened. I feel as if I’ve been given a great gift.

If you’ve never experienced this, maybe it’s time to earnestly seek out, to search for the Lord among His people; to ask for His direction and to follow Him wherever He goes. He dwells in the midst of His people’s praise.

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.
(Hebrews 2:10-12)

Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel {Your people}. I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
(Psalm 22:3, 22)

Never, never give up seeking and searching for the Lord your God, for the living God! Or a place to lay your head!

…but if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
(Deuteronomy 4:29)