November 17, 2017 • Life for Leaders
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s record-breaking musical Hamilton includes a stunning song called “Satisfied.” It begins with Angelica, the sister of Alexander Hamilton’s bride, offering a toast to the newly married couple. In this song, Angelica remembers her initial conversation with Alexander when they first met. He said, “You strike me as a woman who has never been satisfied.” Then he adds, “You’re like me. I’m never satisfied… I have never been satisfied.” As the song draws to a close, Angelica once again offers a toast to the bride and groom. She is confident that her sister will be “happy as his bride.” But, she ends by singing plaintively, “And I know he will never be satisfied. I will never be satisfied.”
What about you? Are you satisfied? Will you ever be satisfied?
Psalm 90 reflects dissatisfaction with life and a yearning for sustainable, lasting satisfaction. This Psalm, written or inspired by Moses, begins by acknowledging God as Israel’s eternal home (90:1). But God’s judgment has fallen heavily on his people, so that they are withering and groaning (90:7-9). Even the best years are “but trouble and sorrow,” the psalm writer laments (90:10).
Yet he has not given up hope. He cries out to God: “Relent, LORD!” (90:13). The CEB renders this request as “Come back to us, LORD!” More specifically, the writer asks, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (90:14). The verb translated here as “satisfy” can also mean “fill up.” Can you remember a time when you were ravenously hungry? When you were finally able to fill yourself with food, you came to a point of feeling satisfied. Your longing was over. You had enough. That’s the sense of Psalm 90:14. The psalm writer wants to be filled with God’s faithful, unfailing love. When this happens, he and those who share in his satisfaction will “sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Do you long for this kind of fullness? Would you like for God’s love to be so plentiful in your life that you are truly and fully satisfied, even to the extent that you rejoice every day of your life? I know I yearn for this very thing. I expect you do too. Psalm 90 reminds us that this kind of deep, lasting satisfaction does not come from the inconsistent, unreliable circumstances of life. Rather, it comes from the experience of being filled with God’s love on a daily basis. It comes as we allow our hearts to be inundated with the implications of the cross of Christ. For, through the cross, we know that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God for us (Romans 8:31-39).
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How satisfied are you with your life?
What is the basis of your satisfaction (or dissatisfaction)?
Have you ever known true satisfaction in God? When?
What might help you to be filled with God and God’s love each morning?
Gracious God, as I reflect on Psalm 90, I find welling up in me a deep desire for you. At first, what I want is the satisfaction that comes from knowing you. I want to live my life with a deep sense that all is well because of you. I want to be so filled with your love that I genuinely rejoice each and every day.
Yet, as I let this psalm sink into my heart, I realize that my desire is not just for the experience of satisfaction, but for the source of satisfaction—or I should rather say, the Source. I yearn to know you and your love more truly and deeply. Help me, dear Lord, to make room for you in my life, to open my heart to you each morning, to spend time with you so that I might experience your unfailing love. By your Spirit, remind me of the truth of the cross, that nothing in all creation can separate me from your love.
Thank you, dear Lord, for pouring out your love into my life. Thank you for the satisfaction that comes in knowing you. All praise be to you! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Best of Daily Reflections: A Psalm for the End of the Year
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.