Where Do You Find Satisfaction?
I felt famished.
I’d skipped breakfast. Work had been so hectic; I had forgotten to eat lunch. By the time I got in the car for the forty-five minute commute home, I was starving. Too hungry to think about cooking, I picked up a couple of take-out pizzas and some bread sticks.
Oh… the rich smells that filled the car: warm bread, cheese, garlic, mmmm. I tore open the bag that held the greasy, delicious bread sticks and shoved one into my mouth, swallowing it so fast that I barely tasted it. Minutes after pulling into the driveway, I sat down with my family and ate slice after slice of pizza. Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry anymore; I felt sick and full of regret for having overeaten.
Had I instead taken time to eat breakfast and lunch, and maybe even an afternoon snack, I wouldn’t have gorged myself on fat and salt. I probably would have had the patience and presence of mind to make a healthy(ish) dinner for my family. Even if I had picked up pizza, a slice or two would have sufficed, and with my hunger satisfied, I would have enjoyed the rest of the evening with my family.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” ~Matthew 5:6 ESV
Satisfaction is the feeling that comes when your physical and emotional needs have been met, your heart is full, and your mind is at peace.
But, in the midst of a crisis—divorce, disease, discouragement, or, perhaps, despair over a family member or close friend who is lost in their own self-destructive choices—that feeling of satisfaction seems rare, if it even comes at all.
In those moments, we crave comfort. We’re desperate for it. And if we aren’t intentional about seeking out the best Source for satisfaction, we’ll reach for the nearest option. It could be food, or work, or alcohol, or pain-killers, or the warmth of an embrace from a person who isn’t yours to hold, or a new pair of shoes, or gossip that allows you to focus on someone else’s problems. It could be anything that takes your mind off your circumstances, at least temporarily. But like the way I felt after gorging myself on pizza, regret inevitably follows.
In contrast, relying on God to sustain us through life—in good times as well as bad—can have a surprising, peace-infusing effect. Like small meals eaten every few hours, reconnecting to Him throughout the day helps replace feelings of desperation with hope and even joy. How do you stay connected? Here are a few things that can help:
- Read an encouraging devotion.
- Meditate or focus on a Bible verse or passage that reminds you of God’s care.
- Listen to a worship song and sing along.
- Whisper prayers for help and peace when you feel fearful or lonely.
- Look at the beauty around you and say ‘thank you’ for the reminder of His greatness and attention to detail.
It’s easy and tempting to self-medicate, to try to numb pain or fear by simply allowing something or someone else to be a temporary distraction. But those things always leave us empty. The only way to be truly filled is to purposefully and continually bring ourselves back to God–to His love and peace. Doing so requires intention and effort, but rather than regret, you’ll experience the comfort of real satisfaction.
Share what works for you: How do you reconnect with God throughout the day?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net