Are You Satisfied? Really?
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
If you’re like the average American, you are less satisfied today than you were a few years ago. In a Gallup poll taken earlier this year, people were less satisfied than they were three years ago concerning “the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard, our system of government, the moral and ethical climate, and the size and influence of major corporations.” Even so, the majority of Americans are still satisfied with “the overall quality of life.” But our satisfaction index is waning as things around us seem to be getting worse instead of better. (Curiously, Gallup found that the only positive movement in satisfaction concerned “the influence of organized religion.”
Psalm 90 reflects dissatisfaction with life and a yearning for sustainable, lasting satisfaction. This Psalm, written or inspired by Moses, begins by acknowledging God as Israel’s eternal home (90:1). But God’s judgment has fallen heavily on his people, so that they are withering and groaning (90:7-9). “Even the best years are filled with pain and troubles,” the psalmist laments.
Yet he has not given up hope. He cries out to God: “O Lord, come back to us!” (90:13). More specifically, the writer asks, “Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (90:14). The verb translated here as “satisfy” can also mean “fill up.” Can you remember a time when you were ravenously hungry? When you were finally able to fill yourself with food, you came to a point of feeling satisfied. Your longing was over. You had enough. That’s the sense of Psalm 90:14. The psalm writer wants to be filled with God’s faithful, unfailing love. When this happens, he and those who share in his satisfaction will “sing for joy” to the end of their lives.
Do you long for this kind of fullness? Would you like God’s love to be so plentiful in your life that you are truly and fully satisfied, even to the extent that you rejoice every day of your life? I know I too yearn for this very thing. I expect you do too. Psalm 90 reminds us that this kind of deep, lasting satisfaction does not come from the inconsistent, unreliable circumstances of life. Rather, it comes from the experience of being filled with God’s love on a daily basis. It comes as we allow our hearts to be inundated with the implications of the cross of Christ. For, through the cross, we know that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God for us (Romans 8:31-39).
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How satisfied are you with your life? What is the basis of your satisfaction (or dissatisfaction)? Have you ever known true satisfaction in God? When? What might help you to be filled with God each morning?
PRAYER: O Lord, as I reflect on Psalm 90, I find welling up in me a deep desire for you. At first, what I want is the satisfaction that comes from knowing you. I want to live my life with a deep sense that all is well because of you. I want to be so filled with your love that I genuinely rejoice each and every day.
Yet, as I let this psalm sink into my heart, I realize that my desire is not just for the experience of satisfaction, but for the source of satisfaction, or should I rather say, the Source. I yearn to know you and your love more truly and deeply. Help me, dear Lord, to make room for you in my life, to open my heart to you each morning, to spend time with you so that I might experience your unfailing love. By your Spirit, remind me of the truth of the cross, that nothing in all creation can separate me from you love.
Thank you, dear Lord, for pouring out your love into my life. Thank you for the satisfaction that comes in knowing you. All praise be to you! Amen.
Here’s how . . . .
This devotional comes from The High Calling: Everyday Conversations about Work, Life, and God (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. The High Calling is associated with Laity Lodge, where I work.