Are We Ever Satisfied?
By Grant Phillips
Correlating humans with reaching a state of satisfaction can sometimes be just plain humorous. Allow me to offer some examples of which I’m sure we can all relate.
In the Winter season we long for Spring. In the Summer season we long for Fall. When it’s cloudy, we want the sun. When it’s dry we want some rain (not too much though). Any time it’s raining, we long for a dry sunshiny day. We long for the green grass of Spring, but don’t want to mow.
We long to see our children born, but can’t wait for them to grow up. When they do (grow up) we wish they were little again. We like when they are in school, but wish they were home.
When children, we could not wait to grow up, but when we realize we’re “over-the-hill,” we long for the “good-ole-days.” We don’t like school, but when we get into the “real world” we wish we were back in school.
We could say the same with the clothes we purchase, automobiles, houses, toys, tools, whatever you can think of. As a child plays with a toy for a short time and then goes to another one, adults aren’t any different.
Unfortunately in adulthood the consequences are sometimes no longer humorous. If the dissatisfaction in our lives is in the wrong areas they could result in actions of promiscuity, divorces, and homes torn apart, and much more.
We all suffer from this malady to one degree or another. Some are consumed with it, while others more easily go with the flow of life. Those who are relatively satisfied are not consumed by their wants, but primarily concentrate on their needs.
Why are we like this? Why can’t we be satisfied? Many of us are not even satisfied with ourselves, let alone all that is around us. We’re always reaching for that “something else” out there just beyond our grasp. “I need a facelift. I need a tummy tuck. I need a butt lift. I need a newer car, a bigger house, more money, the latest fashions.
All these are wants. What we really need is what the Apostle Paul said, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
All this reminds me of the song, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Unlike the Apostle Paul, most of us “can’t get no satisfaction” out of life. Perhaps this is why the drug culture is getting worse and worse. Mankind is becoming more and more dissatisfied and reaching for something else, hoping they can find it in the illicit use of drugs.
As long as we’re alive we humans will have our little idiosyncrasies with not being satisfied in some things in some areas of our lives. When it involves the weather, it’s a temporary adjustment. When it involves promiscuity (for example), it could be a life-long regret. When it involves a spiritual vacuum, there could be eternal consequences.
True satisfaction can only be found in a solid relationship with Jesus Christ. The relationship cannot exist however until we put our faith in Him and are born again spiritually as a child of God. Then as a child grows physically, we grow spiritually in this relationship with God. Then one day we look back and realize that we aren’t as hard to please as we once were. We are much more satisfied in most areas of our life.
That vacuum in our life, that hole in our heart, has been filling up with a different need, a need to know Jesus not only as our Savior, but also as the Lord of our life. Oh, we aren’t perfect by a long shot. Never will be in this earthly body, but our longings are changing, and for the better. We just yearn to know God. So what if it’s raining or the sun’s shining! It doesn’t matter.
Doesn’t it all boil down to being happy? When the Apostle Paul spoke of being content in Philippians 4:11-13, I’m sure he was saying that he was happy with his life. It didn’t matter where he was or what was taking place, he was happy serving God. There was no happiness or contentment for Paul by being in the prison. The happiness or contentment came from sharing the prison cell with Jesus, serving his Lord.
Our need is satisfied, and can only be satisfied, by the vacuum in our life being filled with the presence of God. One of my favorite verses has always been Matthew 5:6 which says, “Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” The word “blessed” means “happy.” We are our happiest and most satisfied when we hunger and thirst after righteousness. Why? Because finally, we “shall be filled.” The vacuum is filled.
All along, the vacuum in our life has been there for a reason. God has placed a vacuum in each of our lives to be filled with His presence. We keep trying to fill it with all the wrong things, and it is never full. All the false needs just leak out, but when we fill it with a “hunger and thirst after righteousness,” God fills it up and it doesn’t leak out. We are finally satisfied.