In 1971 rocker Mick Jagger bellowed the familiar lyrics, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." You've got to give him credit; he's attempting every way possible to find what he's looking for. "I try, and I try, and I try," yet the poor guy can't seem to find gratification anywhere.
On a similar quest for fulfillment we find the biblical King, Solomon, as he roars,
"Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
Utilizing material possessions, information, creativity, money, and sex, Mick and Solomon strive to find satisfaction. But, they both come up—empty!
Could their anxiety be a result of looking for peace in the wrong places? Where does a person find satisfaction in a world that's so restless?
Psalm 63:5 proclaims, "You, God, satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy."
But, is that realistic in today's world? Can God really meet my needs as well as a piece Ghirardelli chocolate, a sexual encounter, or a new red convertible?
Since God formed us, He alone understands how we are wired. He knows what we crave, and how we try to fill that empty spot with things other than him. Consider this:
I will be satisfied when:
1. My worth rests in knowing and believing I am the beloved.
I spent the first 10 years of my Christian life trying to earn God's love. The attempt was
exhausting and no matter how many rungs I climbed, I kept falling off the ladder. The enemy of my soul was always faithful to whisper, "you aren't very good at this Christian thing, you'd be wise to give it up." And I almost did.
Fortunately, I serve a God who relentlessly wooed me with His zealous, unconditional love. He continuously called out to me, "You are precious and honored in my sight, Laura, and I love you" Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)
My whole world changed when I embraced this as truth, and with it came a freedom and peace beyond human description. The satisfaction I so desperately sought came in knowing not who I am, but whose I am.
2. The things that matter to God, matter to me.
I grew up believing God was aloof, distant and detached. I assumed he enjoyed being intimidating and was eager to zap me when I failed!! Nothing could be further from the truth. God cares. The compassion of the Almighty is demonstrated by the fact that He counts our tears.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle" Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
When I begin to weep over the issues that concern God, and I rejoice over the things that make Him smile those things become my driving passion. Knowing why I was placed here on earth produces peace.
In every life situation God's goal is to make us like Christ. Jesus was deeply affected and compassionate toward lost, wounded, broken, and abandoned people. I find peace when my heart is undivided, and seeks to live like Christ.
My life has contentment and meaning when I am busy doing the work of my Father.
"I have glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do" John 17:4 (NAS)
3. My heart is humble
"Mirror, mirror on the wall who's the fairest of them all?" Sound familiar? The wicked queen in Snow White isn't the only one asking this question, if I'm not careful I can spend too much time obsessing about my reflection.
Ironically, serenity arrives when I take my eyes off of the mirror. Self-absorption often fuels my hunger for adoration and recognition, leading to pride.
One way to diagnose your sensitivity on this matter is to ask a few questions.
Am I preoccupied with how and what everyone else is doing?
Am I jealous when another gets an impressive house, an attractive spouse, or stunning new clothes?
Where does my mind automatically drift when I'm not thinking about anything specific?
A self-centered attitude defeats contentment, and it keeps us in the downward spiral of discouragement. Humility puts others first and stops the exhausting effort of focusing on proving my value to others.
"O LORD, my heart is not conceited. My eyes do not look down on others. I am not involved is things too big or too difficult for me. Instead, I have kept my soul calm and quiet. My soul is content as a weaned child is content in its mother's arms." Psalm 131:1-2 (GW)
4. I live more for eternity than this world.
The pleasure of heaven awaits us. It's where we were created to live—it's home. But most of us live as though this world is our abode.
A misconception of heaven is often the reason we grip earth.
Our image of the wedding feast in heaven is often a vision of shuffling around in a choir robe holding a white styrofoam cup filled with lime green sherbet punch. The feast before us consists of a ham roll, a stalk of celery, and for those of us who are Italian, a meatball. The music we dislike at church is playing in the background, and everyone looks a bit zombie-like.
We've got it all wrong!! This is going to be an ENORMOUS PARTY. Think along the lines of the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." This is going to be the celebration of all celebrations filled with music, dancing, laughter, singing, and great non-caloric chocolate cake.
Ok, I'm making that part up, but I'm dreaming big!!
Then comes the best part
"And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev 21:4 (NAS)
Did you catch that? No more need for waterproof mascara-ever! No more cancer, guilt, gossip, bad breath, or dreary board meetings. This place looks, smells, tastes, and sounds glorious.
And that's why it's important to spend our time here keeping our eyes and thoughts on eternity.
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
A delightful peace floods our lives when we acquire a wise heart, because it has certainty about the future. A wise heart knows their Redeemer lives, and He is waiting to caress them with heavenly pleasures.
I don't know about you, but I can't wait!
Copyright © Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.