The first line is “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God.” These are the lines we first read when we flip the pages to Psalm 42:1. Furthermore, these lines and the Psalm 42:1 are the inspiration of Martin “Marty” Nystrom at creating the song “As The Deer.”
There are times in our lives we tend to ignore God. We might not intentionally do such but little do we know we are already parting ourselves with him. In these times, we need to look back and reach out to him. With this, you might want to read the book of Psalm. It will teach us and help us get closer to God.
The Story of the Song…
“As The Deer” was inspired by Psalm 42:1. This was the time when Marty felt so down. Back in 1984, he traveled to Dallas, Texas since it was his summer vacation. Marty spent time at the Christ For the Nations Institute. He was interested in a girl at that time. However, it didn’t work out according to his plans. With this, he was left heartbroken and regretful.
His roommate, who was a very enthusiastic Christian advised him to do “fasting” and to only consume water. This was to reach himself back to God.
Marty took the challenge without hesitation. On the 19th day of “fasting,” Marty found himself sitting beside the piano writing a song. Moreover, he was playing the chord trying to create a melody. Then, Marty noticed a bible on the music stand. The bible was half opened, and the first thing he saw was Psalm 42. His eyes stuck to the verse “As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” After reading, he found himself singing the messages. Then he wrote the first verse and the chorus of the song.
On the other hand, Marty doesn’t have a plan to spread his creation. He wanted to conceal and take it only for himself. It would be for his devotional time with the Lord but before leaving the school and going back home, he shared it with Dave Butterbaugh. Mr. Butterbough introduced the song to the students. It became the favorite school song then.
Since the introduction of the song, it has been translated and recorded by various artists. Also, it has been sung in churches all over the world.
Praise God for the creative lines of Martin “Marty” Nystrom. With his experience, he might not be even able to compose the song.
As for us, do we need to experience something terrible before reaching out to God? Do we have to encounter uncertainties before we come and appear before God? I say now is the time. God Bless us all.
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As the Deer, Martin "Marty" Nystrom, Marty, Psalm 42:1