To be satisfied. It seems elusive. Only a dream. But, reading the apostle Paul’ s words in Philippians 4, a chapter my girls and I have been reading, re-reading and then reading some more, each and every morning, we see that it’s not a dream. It was a reality for Paul, a human being just like you and I.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4: 11,12.
God’s desire for me is to be content, satisfied, and at peace with where He has me right now. Rereading Philippians over and over, I am more convinced than ever of God’s desire for me to accept my life and the call He has for me. Each day, my girls and I gain something new from our reading, but each day it centers around being satisfied.
Aside from our Philippians discussions, if you have been to our house you know that our cats, Jack and Andy, are a popular topic. We recently changed cat food. Our cats love to eat. Being indoor cats, eating is their main activity. Feeding time is a frenzy. Both cats meowing loudly, rubbing against my legs, my stress level rises as I attempt to open the food bag quick enough to satisfy their meows. Our cats are large. In fact the vet has expressed concern. So, we measure out their food and only feed them twice a day. Tender hearts hurt for our cats when looking at their empty dishes and hearing their cries for food. But one look at their sagging bellies, reveals the truth.
The second the first morsel hits their dishes, they are wolfing down the food. It’s a race for the finish. Within minutes, both cats are done and their dishes are empty once more. Jack takes his stance back over by the pantry door, where he resumes begging for more. He just inhaled his entire meal and will not be fed again for 12 hours, but he is not satisfied. The cheap, grocery store cat food left him wanting more.
Recently, Andy, our oldest cat, began showing signs of having a food allergy. A trip to the vet left us reconsidering our food of choice for our beloved pets. So we did what any other concerned pet-loving family would do, we watched an entire documentary on pet food! Next came a trip to the pet store. Spending far longer than I care to admit at the pet store: reading labels, comparing prices, and debating with myself, I left with a grain-free, single-protein source, over-priced bag of cat food. Oh, they are just going to love this!
Bringing the food home, the cats hear the familiar rustle of the bag and come running. I pour their first serving into their dishes and wait. Andy looks up at me as if to say, “What is this?” Giving the food an inquiring sniff, they lean closer. Andy takes a little bite, then a few more. Now Jack joins in. Next thing I know, I am the one to be surprised. Both cats walk away from their dishes and saunter off to another room. My amazed younger daughter looks to me for an explanation, but all I can do is shrug. “Hmm. I guess they don’t like it.”
This scene replayed each day, as the cats ate a little bit and then left food in their dishes throughout the day. No more begging at the pantry door. No more aggressive pressure during feeding time.
One day while rereading Philippians chapter 4 with my girls once again, my mind stuck on the word content and my eyes drifted over to the still unfamiliar site of a pet dish with remaining food. Could it be, that the cats are content? Satisfied? The new, higher protein food is filling them up? This new food has more of the nutrients they need so they are actually satisfied? Suddenly our repetitive Philippians 4 reading was being lived out right in front of me.
Paul tells us to meditate or chew on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. He tells us to do the things we have learned to do from God and the God of peace will be with us.
Like the veterinarian telling us a specific type of food to look for which would be better for our cats, or a prescription from a doctor which will bring the healing we desire, the Lord provides for us what we need to produce the satisfaction we desire.
I can try in vain to fill up on devotionals, Christian books, and magazines. None of which are bad. I can glean encouragement, instruction, and knowledge from such materials. But, nothing will bring the satisfaction and true contentment the Word of God brings.
Why not go straight to the source? Why not drink from the fountain that always satisfies?
- The Bible is like food for the believer, sustaining our very lives.
Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
- The Bible is the very words of the Lord.
2 Timothy 3:15-17, And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
- The Bible is our instruction.
Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Is the emptiness swallowing you up? Are you finding yourself always needing more? Never reaching the point of true contentment? I challenge you to feast on the Word of God. Put the other sources aside for the time being and see how the Lord will sustain you, fill you, satisfy you.