“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16
I find myself often going into our pantry looking for something on which to snack. It seems snacking is different than a full-blown meal. It is the in between moment when whatever we previously ate or the thought of the next meal doesn’t seem to address my desire for food. So I stand looking at a variety of possible items all intended to somehow address my hunger in a satisfying way. With all the effort that has gone into creating all these options by the snack food industry you’d think there was at least one thing that would do the trick. But that rarely is the case. I end up trying a myriad of things hoping something will “tickle my taste buds”.
If this search to find the perfect answer to my desire was limited to just food, it might be less daunting. But I find that, in most cases, I’m trying to find the perfect solution or answer for whatever my particular appetite is at the time. It seems I find myself in the pantry of life faced with so many possible options, yet too often left still hungry for something more. This aspect of my humanity is not something I tend to appreciate.
The writer of Ecclesiates makes this comment, “Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet there appetite is never satisfied.” He has described my human experience pretty accurately. All the work I do to build a satisfying life seems to always be a little less satisfying than I hoped for. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy so much of my life and the experiences I’ve had. But no matter how good they are, with time my longings, my appetites and desires, still seem to follow me around. At times I ask myself the question, “Will anything ever be good enough?”
As I read the words of the psalmist in Psalm 104 I am reminded that there is a source of satisfaction that transcends what I find in this earthly pantry. My efforts to produce a life that is satisfying seem to always be a little deficient, but God opens His hand and there for me to discover is the life that is truly satisfying. Whereas my tendency is to rely on my hands to make something happen, to produce and accomplish that which is satisfying, it is God’s hand that holds for me what is ultimately the satisfaction of my appetites. As C.S. Lewis says, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Possibly I’ve been looking in the wrong pantry to satisfy my appetites. Possibly the pantry of this world was never intended to satisfy my deepest longings, but only the pantry of God’s open hand.
I am grateful for the fact that I am deeply loved and cared for by the God who created me and continues daily to sustain me, even without my asking. Every day I awaken to His presence whether acknowledged or not, and every day he expresses love and faithful care for my needs. What I need to remember is that the one who loves me best and has what will truly satisfy the longings of my heart is standing with His open hand right in front of me offering me what will truly be best and most satisfying to me.
It is my hope and prayer that I will continue to watch for God’s hand and receive from Him what will be truly satisfying to the appetites and desires of my life. In my efforts to achieve a life that is full and satisfying I can easily rely and depend on my own resources, skills and plans, rather than on the life extended as a gift found in God’s open hand.
May you as well watch with attentiveness for God’s outstretched and open hand filled with the fully satisfying life we long to experience. Here is a song to further your reflection.