By: Sarah Joyner
Psalm 107:8-9 “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (ESV)
In the 1944 novel, The World, the Flesh, and Father Smith, written by Scottish writer, Bruce Marshall, …the character named Father Smith is talking with a woman and says to her, “…the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.”
In his statement, Father Smith is suggesting that those who are seeking to fill a void–whether they fill it with sex, drugs, alcohol, material possessions/shopping, work/busyness, praise of others, food, etc.–is truly seeking out, and in need of, God.
However, I think once a person finds God it can be tempting to turn to Him as just another way to fill his or her voids. It is no longer about who God is, but what God can do for them. Just look at the Israelites. They had God with them all along their journey and yet they were never satisfied with how much God did for them. They could not see the miraculous works of God and thank Him for the protection and blessings He gave, but instead they complained and whined, wanting one more thing after another, whether it was quail, or bread, or water…It seems God was never enough for them.
In John 6:1-59 we read that Jesus fed 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish. Not only did this feed the five thousand, but when they were done eating Jesus asked his disciples to gather up the leftover pieces which filled twelve baskets! After this, the crowd follows Jesus and he confronts them saying, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal’” (John 6:26-27 ESV).
Jesus goes on to explain in John 6:47-59 that He is the bread of life. Not only can He satisfy our physical hunger, but He can satisfy our spiritual hunger too. All we need to do is believe in Him, profess Him as our Savior, and truly believe that He is enough.
We should ask ourselves: Do I stand in awe of the signs and miracles of Jesus Christ and long to be in His presence each and every day while growing in our relationship with Him? Do I realize the level of grace, mercy, and love He continually shows me? Or do I just seek Him as a way to meet my physical/earthly wants and needs? Am I seeking immediate comfort or eternal gain? In other words, am I willing to be materially hungry if that is what it means for me to be truly spiritually satisfied both here on earth and for all of eternity?
Lord, we thank you for your steadfast love and your wondrous works! You are so awesome! Please forgive the times we return to our selfish ways and seek to fulfill our earthly needs and wants. Make us strong where we are weak and help us to keep our focus on who you are and to place our trust and faith in you, our great provider, who knows how to meet our needs better than we could ever imagine.