"You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Psalm 145:16
I have spent much of the past year learning how to be satisfied in Christ. In sermons, in Bible studies, in conversations with friends, in my time in the Word, this theme has appeared again and again. Satisfaction. Satiety. Fullness. Contentment.
I have gleaned so much wisdom from pages and people about what my true needs are (the needs that God created in me), and about how to allow him - and only him - to meet those needs. I am learning - slowly, painfully, clumsily - how to surrender my "felt needs" to the Lord. I have been stunned to find just how deeply and how fully he satisfies me, if I let him.
I could write volumes about this topic alone, and I will share much more of this part of my journey down the road. But today, I want to share an illustration, from my very recent past, of how He satisfies.
April is Birthday Month in our home. For some reason, God saw fit to bless me with two darling boys, and in the process to wipe my birthday off the face of the map. My kids were born on April 15 and 20, and my birthday is April 22. Three b-days in one week. To top it off, this year saw Easter falling on the 23rd.
In short, in one week we had Chuck-E-Cheese (gag), the zoo, Big Al's Bowling, two family birthday dinners, one big birthday party, and Easter. Imagine the sugar.
I, of course handled it all with complete grace.
(Sorry, I can't even type that with a straight face.)
Okay, I started out with grace. I had been steadily studying the Word every morning for months. I repeated Proverbs 12:18 and Ephesians 4:2 over and over, to prepare myself for the inevitable conflicts and stress that would come.
But then, I let it go. Things got crazy, and I got worn down, and I chose - because it is a choice, no matter how busy or exhausted I feel - not to rise that extra half-hour early and anchor myself in God's word. And I chose that for several days in a row. And by the end of the Birthday Week, as we drove home from taking our little boy bowling for the first time, all of my grace was gone. All of the emotions, the little irritations and the inconveniences, the bittersweetness of my two boys turning another year, the physical and mental fatigue - all of the things that I should have been bringing to the Lord - washed over me in wave after bitter wave. I had a Major Mommy Meltdown, and I unloaded onto my husband what can only be described as a whole lot of crap.
Now, there was truth in all of it. How I felt was real and understandable. But what I felt like I needed - to be pampered, adored, acknowledged - was really just what I wanted. What I needed, more than anything else, was the sweet presence of the Lord. I needed to cast my cares on him. I needed to sit at his feet and learn from him. I needed the power and strength and satisfaction that can ONLY come from time with him.
So the next morning, I rose extremely early, and resumed my rhythm. I curled up in my favorite chair with my Bible and my journal, and let his words wash over me. I read Psalm 103, and soaked in my favorite part: "... who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's (v. 5)." I wrote down every single thing that was weighing heavily on my heart, and I gave it up. (Which is not easy - much more on that later.) I read, and read, and read. I had some catching up to do.
And of course - of course - He satisfied me. God filled up the weary, empty cavity of my soul with his grace, his mercy, his strength, and his power. By the time Easter dinner rolled around, my children were into their post-sugar-and-present-binge meltdowns, my husband was puking his guts out in the bathroom (flu - not my cooking), I was eating ham by myself at the kitchen counter, and surveying the utter wreckage of my home. I still felt exhausted (frankly, I still do). I still wanted to crawl into bed for three days. I still swore that my next baby will be born in the fall.
But, I smiled. Deeply satisfied.
"The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."