My youngest is completely satisfied with life —- and that’s a problem.
Our youngest is potty training in earnest. Or maybe his parents are anyway. As in, we’ve had several rounds of progress and set backs, and this Momma is about to lose her mind. We have tried using underwear (Don’t poop on Paw Patrol! They don’t want to get dirty!) and taking away underwear (You can wear underwear with you poop in the potty). We have offered every variation of reward and chart imaginable.
But the kid is happy. Sure he wants a marshmallow or sticker and to wear underwear, but if it doesn’t happen, he’s okay. He doesn’t want to disappoint Mommy and Daddy, but well, he’s still happy. He may be sad for a moment, but never longer.
No matter reward or consequence, he continues on, satisfied.
While my child’s satisfaction is a problem, I need to be more like him.
Humans are never satisfied – or at least all the ones I know. I always find something I could have done better. My child always wants more snacks (but not vegetables). My wonderful husband always NEEDS just one more woodworking tool. The world is always looking for the next big thing to change everything.
No matter what we do or have, it’s never quite enough.
One simple definition for satisfied is full; and humans are never full.
Death has an endless appetite. There’s no max capacity where it says “Okay, I just can’t hold any more people.” It’s bottomless – like a bathtub with running water but the drain still open.
Much the same, the human appetite is endless. But for what? Anything our senses discover:
It’s the same reason I grieve a good book ending. I want more. More dessert, drink, laughter, fun, pleasure. It’s the reason the addict ups the dosage. Good enough isn’t good enough. This world always falls short. And human pleasure is like that open drain — sucking away the joy as soon as it hits.
“What is it?”
Human dissatisfaction is nothing new. it began in the Garden of Eden and has been our constant companion. I remember reading about the Israelites who God delivered from Egypt through 10 jaw-dropping plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and columns of clouds and fire, who then got a little uncomfortable and asked why God didn’t kill them in Egypt.
Just a hair dramatic.
But this is the scene God chooses to walk into to give us the first usage of the Hebrew word saba or sabea: to be sated, satisfied or surfeited. It is this word that we find in Exodus 16:8 translated “to the full.”
In Exodus 16, God hears their complaints and satisfies them. He gives them meat to eat at night and bread from heaven “to the full.” Note: They had no idea what the “bread” was, so they called it manna (“What is it?”).
. . . . .
To the full – wanting nothing – until the next day.
See, the manna didn’t fill their bellies forever – only until the next time to eat. He gave them exactly what they needed. They were not lacking or gluttonous. The manna satisfied; this was their daily bread, Sound familiar? Jesus uses the term “daily bread” to ask God to today’s provision in what is commonly known as the Lord’s prayer. I don’t think it is a coincidence or that He’s only talking about food,
God is enough. He wants us to be daily satisfied in Him. Not wanting or gluttonous – satisfied. He is enough for this moment and the next, but even in saving us, he doesn’t fill us in a way that we are never wanting again. Rather, when we come to God as Christ did in prayer, and we spend time in His word, He fills us, sustaining us until the next “meal.” Daily bread,
Daily bread satisfies.
Sporadic bread hungers.
Infrequent bread starves.
Satisfaction of a Child
As I contemplate how on earth I will ever get this child potty-trained, I also find myself considering that maybe his satisfaction will serve him well. Perhaps the faith of a child is the satisfaction of a child.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments expounds on what it means to be like a child: “Free from pride, covetousness, and ambition, and resemble them (children) in humility, sincerity, docility, and disengagement of affection from the things of the present life, which excite the ambition of grown men,”
When God satisfies us, “the things of this world will grow strongly dim.” Much like my child, we might enjoy or dislike certain things or events, but whether we get them or not, we’ll be okay. We can be happy no matter what. That’s satisfaction in God.
But remember – satisfaction comes from daily bread.
You cannot eat “to the full” if you never sit down at His table.
When we aren’t satisfied, we aren’t eating God’s provisions.
I am satisfied.
I am satisfied with Jesus.