Incline thy ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save thy servant who trusts in thee. Thou art my God; be gracious to me, O Lord, for to thee do I cry all the day. Gladden the soul of thy servant, for to thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on thee. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; hearken to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on thee, for thou dost answer me. There is none like thee among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like thine. All the nations thou hast made shall come and bow down before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great and doest wondrous things, thou alone art God. Teach me thy way, O Lord, that I may walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name. I give thanks to thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify thy name for ever. For great is thy steadfast love toward me; thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol: (Psalm 86:1-13 RSV).
Before I even went to scripture this morning I had the thought of how very much we long to be filled, satisfied; and how nothing in this world can fill up the emptiness within. This psalm does capture some of the longing; some of the absolute dependence upon God.
I find it interesting when I talk to people who have been saved and to hear how they had tried so many ways to be satisfied. Drugs, alcohol, jobs, money, “toys,” things, and more things, and addictions of many kinds were pursued in an attempt to be whole. Nothing “did it” for them for very long. The momentary rush, the momentary dulling of the pain of emptiness gave way to the emptiness again.
The term rock bottom is often used when referring to the state of heart and mind one much reach in order to begin the road to recovery. I interpret that as meaning we must arrive at the end of ourselves in order for God to start filling up the bottomless pit that can only be filled by God Himself.
The problem is, when I feel the most filled with God, I am the most restless, the most hungry for more. In those times I am so joyous and peaceful, full of love and light and awe, that nothing on this earth can equal that way of existing. My problem? I struggle with being satisfied by being filled only with God! Isn’t it ironic? The one thing that makes us complete, can make us feel the most empty! Why am I unable to carry that feeling with me throughout my day? Because the world doesn’t offer it – it offers everything else – and because it can’t offer us the one and only thing we need, it tries even harder to convince we only need that item, this product to be complete.
Satan uses man’s emptiness and our pursuit to be filled to his advantage. He uses man’s attempts to tell each other what we need, what we should want, what we deserve in order to sell us what everything BUT God! The truth though is that we deserve Nothing! Nothing. And we are Nothing. Unless we factor in God. It’s that simple. Without God we are empty. With God we are filled.
The trick is in recognizing the difference between what we deserve and what God has freely and lovingly offered us without cost to us. He’s already done all the work. The world may call us fools. But remember, God uses the foolish things of this earth to prove His wisdom.
Blessings on your journey,