God’s wholehearted desire for us
Satisfied: “pleased or content with what has been experienced or received.”
At Peace: “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”
Dissatisfaction and Anxieties of Life
Last week after getting some things done at Caribou I walked into the parking lot to find another car had hit the right side of my back bumper and was nowhere to be seen. While it didn’t damage the function of the car I was still very annoyed at the dent they left and at the lack of any note or insurance information. I for sure was not satisfied or at peace in that moment.
When inconveniences and hurts happen, many of which are much worse than an unexpected dent on a car, how does one still live satisfied and at peace? We can read that God satisfies us and that we can have peace (Isaiah 58:11, Isaiah 26:11). But what does that actually look like and how can we live that out in our lives?
One of the pictures of rest and peace that has stuck with me is from a little girl I was spending the day with. I was taking her out on what I thought would be a fun, enjoyable activity, but she spent a lot of time complaining, “My feet huuurt,” “I’m huungry,” “Can we go now?” etc. She always seemed anxious for some sort of attention, saying things she knew she shouldn’t say and doing things loudly that she knew she shouldn’t do. At one point after bringing her back to her home I invited her to sit in my lap. I picked her up, gave her a big hug and just held her on my lap. In that instant she relaxed. She no longer interrupted conversations or went about doing things loudly. Her anxious attempts to get attention seemed to instantly go away and in that moment she was satisfied to just be still in my lap.
Like this little girl we also experience dissatisfaction and anxiety in our lives. Often very legitimate things. Our hard work goes unnoticed or even worse our hard work is criticized. Our physical, emotional, or mental pain greatly hinders how we function in our daily lives. The injustices we see around us or experience ourselves seem overwhelming. Our own sinful actions bring us shame. And the list could go on.
But in the midst of all these things we have a Father who opens his loving arms and invites us to come and be with him. He holds us close in his arms. (Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah 63:9). He tells us of his love for us and he rejoices over us (Zephaniah 3:17, 1 Corinthians 4:5, Romans 5:8). He gave us the most precious and valuable thing he could give, his own Son, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be together with him and know his love (John 3:16). It’s when we’re with God that we find a deep satisfaction and peace.
Being not Doing
The idea that if you do this then your desires will be fulfilled is so prevalent around us. If you earn good grades, if you get married, if you get the promotion, if you pay off your debt, if you do all the right things then you will be happy and satisfied. But doing things doesn’t seem to leave people satisfied. Several different studies list the U.S. as having one of the highest levels of depression. Despite greater opportunities for education, greater varieties of entertainment, and greater resources than many other countries, Americans are left unfulfilled.
God flips the picture around. Instead of telling us to work hard to earn rest and fulfillment, he invites us to come and find deep rest and satisfaction in his love, though we haven’t earned it (Isaiah 55:22). While there is nothing we can do that earns us the right to be with the Father. As we accept his invitation to come be with him we are naturally compelled to do.
Let’s find our satisfaction and peace from the presence of our loving Father, who completely satisfies us and gives us peace.
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11
About the author
I am a natural deep thinker, which means I love reading books, getting away from things to process the week, and when all the little details line up. I also love, running, volleyball, and almost any form of competition, especially if I have a good shot at winning.