I was reading Philippians last week and came across Paul’s famous passage on contentment. He used my word of this year—HUNGRY— and it got me thinking. Now that it’s November, what has that word meant to me these past months? Why did God impress that word on me back in January 2022? Have I paid enough attention to that theme in my life?
I also searched my Apple Music for Open My Hands by Sara Groves that holds these lyrics —“I believe in a fountain that will never dry, though I’ve thirsted and didn’t have enough. Thirst is no measure of His faithfulness; He withholds no good thing from us.”
Paul specifically says in Philippians 4:12, “I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
But, wait. I thought God always gives us what we need!?! Why would Paul be hungry or suffer need if this is true? Why would Sara Groves write that she has thirsted and not had enough when Jesus clearly says if we drink from Him we will never thirst again? Why does she say thirst is no measure of His faithfulness?
I thought of Psalm 131 that has spoken to several situations in my life over this past year. It consists of three verses that paint a picture of a weaned child sitting in his mom’s lap. He says he is resting against his mother. A nursing child against his mother is usually looking for food, looking to be filled with what he needs before he is able to rest. But the weaned child has “withdrawn from things that were at one time indispensable.” This child has experienced “growth and advancement and is gaining strength.” (G. Campbell Morgan) David is declaring that his soul is like a weaned child—satisfied and at rest in The Lord. Mature. Content. Trusting. Knowing the Lord will give him what he needs when he needs it. There’s a track record of faithfulness.
This morning I was reading Colossians 2 and verse 10 struck me and helped me fill in some blanks to my thoughts lately. In the line of many references to Christ and how we are being built up IN CHRIST and being challenged to walk IN CHRIST, reminded that IN CHRIST all the fullness of Deity dwells— verse ten days, “IN HIM (Christ) you have been made complete.” Complete can be translated “full.”
IN HIM YOU HAVE BEEN MADE FULL!
There we have it. When I don’t fully recognize my completeness, my fullness in Christ, I go other places or to other people or look for other circumstances to satisfy. And when they don’t, I feel lacking. I feel hungry. My desires—for material things, for comforts of the world, for sex, for acceptance, for health, for acknowledgment, etc make huge holes in my soul that God alone can fill. The feelings of emptiness are there to make us aware of our need for Christ.
Then does that mean I’ll always have what I need? Yes. Christ is all I need. In Him you have been made complete.
Does that mean I’ll never feel hungry or thirsty or restless? No. That’s why Lottie Moon could give away her needed food to her Chinese neighbors and starve to death. She was full in Christ. It’s why we can make decisions that honor God, despite challenging circumstances. We are full and complete in Christ. It’s why even though I’m currently facing imbalanced hormones, dry and cracked and bleeding thumbs (I don’t know why!), Adrenal fatigue, still raising three teenagers, missing Josh because of his full schedule and extra church commitments in this season, plus it’s the holidays and we all know how crazy they can be….I must sit with the Lord every morning and talk with Him all throughout the day. Or else I’ll find myself rummaging through the garbage cans of life trying to find what I need.
Psalm 84:11 “…no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Rest in The Lord today. Let His presence fill you. In Christ you have been made full.