Do you believe that God is not good enough for you? Or that what He provides for you isn’t enough? Of course not (or at least that’s what I’m assuming you’re thinking as you read that). We know that God is good enough for us and what He has for us is good enough. But if we’re honest, we don’t always live that way. I know I don’t.
We get bored and tired of people/things and pursue the next “big” thing thinking that it will satisfy. I look to electronics a lot for my satisfaction. I’ll follow blogs about the newest technology, the newest apps, even the software updates coming out soon. I am enamored by the next bigger, better thing. Luckily I don’t have the money to get even 1/10 of the stuff I’d like to get so I am able to reign my lust in. However, the want and desire is still there. I’m looking somewhere else for my satisfaction than what God provides for me.
Thirsty for More
There was this woman that Jesus encountered in the land of Samaria. She too was thirsty for the next bigger, better thing that could satisfy. After asking the woman for a drink, Jesus went on to tell her about some water that He had for her.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” – John 4:13-15
What does this woman want? Indoor plumbing! If Jesus could make it easier for her to get water without having to come out in the open during the heat of the day, then sign her up. She wanted the next big thing, but it doesn’t stop at water. She sought it in the guy(s) she was with.
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” – John 4:16-18
Was it love? Was it security? Maybe it was just getting bored with one guy and moving on to the next? Did she lose her identity? I’m sure her motive for seeking the next guy was wrapped up in all of that somehow. But she looked for satisfaction in that next best thing just as much as I have tried to do that too.
These objects, people, pursuits, jobs, situations, etc. can seem to promise us a momentary relief or pleasure. They can in fact be perceptively better in the sense that they do make good on their promise…for a moment. But then the moment passes and we’re left wanting more. Either more of the same or more of something “better”. We’re never satisfied. But we fall into the trap of thinking that the momentary good feelings are better than God or the longer term/sustaining things that God provides.
The woman at the well again is a good example for us with her marriage (or lack of it). She was going through life thinking that a few good moments with the next guy were better than the sustaining, enduring life of marriage with one guy. But can you imagine what her life was like because she lived this way? Just at the surface, she had to be the talk of the town and pretty much shut out from social circles. That’s why she was drawing water during the heat of the day (because she knew no on else would be around). She had to be in so much inner turmoil because she knew she was living a lie. She had to be playing some sort of game or telling lies in order to juggle it all. And typically when you live that way it all catches up with you at some point and the lies get so out of hand that you can’t even keep it straight.
But the flip side of that is what marriage could be. Living in a committed relationship with only one guy and relying on each other to get through the trials that come though life knowing that “if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:11-12) Not only can two partners in a marriage be a stronger bond than trying to float through life alone, when God is in the mix then a husband and wife can weather any storm.
And marriage in particular is a picture of what God does with and for us. He is the bridegroom and we are the bride in the sense that we are connected with Him forever. Yet, our eye wanders and we sometimes sleep around with other things or people. But He is faithful. He sticks it out with us even in our unfaithfulness. We might live for the moment but He is in it for the long haul and wants us to realize how much better life could be if we were in it in this way too.
Living Eternity One Day at a Time
Life with God is for eternity, and eternity starts now not when we die. Eternity starts with God when we’re baptized and brought into His family, not when Jesus comes back somewhere off in the future. All of the good things that He has for us are and can be a reality today not way off in the future. This has to go with the objects, people, jobs, situations, and everything else He provides for us.
Objects, relationships, jobs, and other things aren’t bad in themselves. But our constant pursuit and hunger for the next better thing is what gets us in trouble. However, God gives us what we need right here, right now.
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. (Luther’s Small Catechism – Explanation to the 1st Article of the Apostle’s Creed)
All that we have from God is all that we need. There’s always that fine line between needs and wants. When those wants arise that we need to keep ourselves in check and be reminded that God is Good – So I Don’t Need to Look Elsewhere for Satisfaction. Even just slowly reminding yourself God…is…all…I…need. Jesus can and does satisfy our longings. He is more than enough for us. He will send His Spirit to you when you need Him and comfort your longings. Give it a try next time you find yourself pursuing the momentary pleasures of life.