"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14
"Mama, if you get me Annie, I won't ask for anything else for my birthday this year," my youngest, almost-eight-year-old daughter informed me the other day.
"Honey, we already have a puppy; I don't think we need another dog to take care of." [I don't need another dog to take care of!]
"But, Mama, she is all I really want. Please, please, please!!"
Jenna's pleas reminded me of conversations I have been a part of with a Parent of mine over the years.
"Lord, if You will only let me have such and such, I will be really happy."
"Lord, if You will only allow us to buy this, I will never ask for anything else again."
"Lord, if You will only let this dream of mine come true, I can't imagine ever needing anything else to make me happy."
"Lord, if You let me have my dream house, I will serve You with it. It will used to minister to others! I'll have Bible study in it, have hurting people over, and it will be a house of prayer. How does that sound? Please, Lord, please?"
And the Lord, in His overwhelming generosity, has allowed so many of those requests to be fulfilled. Funny how what was once shiny and new, big and beautiful, or stylish and the latest "thing" (whatever that may be), soon loses its luster. The new wardrobe, car, or dream house cannot truly satisfy. I can be obsessed with that which leaves me feeling as empty, worthless, and insignificant as before, even as I hold false happiness in my hands.
What is it that I am really looking for? In my opinion, no one summed up the deepest longing of every human heart better than King Solomon of the Old Testament when he said:
"What a man [or woman] desires is unfailing love..." Proverbs 19:22 (NIV)
Some versions of Scripture translate love as loyalty or kindness. There is no human being alive who can give another love that never fails, disappoints, or is always kind. No one always has another's best interest at heart continually. Self-centeredness is what comes naturally to us. Because of that, no relationship between human beings is always perfect. Yet we can look to a friend, a sibling, a parent, a child, or a spouse and be deceived into thinking that our happiness will be found in that person. We can demand a standard of perfection of someone else that he or she is simply incapable of living up to. We cannot live up to that standard either. We will continue to be disappointed, even devastated, over relationships that were never meant to make us complete.
Every fall and spring I go through all of my children's clothing in order to decide what can still be worn and what needs to be given away. I sometimes fight with myself over what needs to go in the give away pile, especially if the outfit still looks brand new and it cost a pretty penny to buy it. What was so cute and cost me too much now is unusable. Clothes that I just had to buy for myself five years ago now look out of date. They continue to hang in my closet with me knowing that I won't wear them again. But I just can't let go yet.
Nothing on this earth satisfies me. I have realized over the last several years that nothing earthly ever will. I have found the source of true satisfaction. It has nothing to do with the make of the vehicle I drive, the clothes I wear, or the four walls I live in. The ache I have to be loved unfailingly has been healed by a daily discovery of the treasure of God's Word. I have known Jesus as my Savior since I was five years old, but being saved from my sin is not enough to fill this insatiable need for contentment in my life. Until I made the decision to make my Bible the most read book in my home and its truths my truth, I did not realize I could daily make the choice to be truly satisfied now. I thought I would have to wait until heaven before I could experience Jesus the way my heart longed to. He has given me that abundant life that He promised I could have in John 10:10.
Jesus, thank You that You are the source of unfailing love, loyalty, and kindness that I can never find anywhere else. Thank you for revealing Yourself to me, someone who fails You everyday. Thank You for the promise of gladness here on earth that is found when I seek to make you Lord over every area of my life. Today I have a choice to make. Help me to not look to anyone or anything but You in an effort to be satisfied. Help me to look to Your unfailing love early this day so that tonight I will know once again how faithful You have been to me.