One of life’s hardest lessons is to realize that true satisfaction is found only in God. There are many pretenders but only God is sufficient to give meaning and purpose to your life. Apart from God every single relationship and endeavor you pursue carries the reality of disappointment. One of the cruelest things you can to do is to expect others to provide for you what can only be found in God. No human can bear the weight of being God for you.
Practically, what does this mean?
Children cannot bear the weight of being your satisfaction in life. This will cause you to either ask too much from them or to ignore their weaknesses. In either case, you will know bitter disappointment as they are not able to bring you the satisfaction you crave. You want much and are crushed when your children do not deliver.
No spouse can be God for you. You want to be understood, appreciated, protected. But, husbands and wives, even the best ones, are still capable of it. They will at some point fail you. They can never offer healing and redemption for your sin. When you look to your spouse to do only what God can do, you turn away from God and put all of your hopes and dreams on an inadequate human. You forget your spouse is just like you, a sinner in deep need of God’s grace.
Let’s underscore this point: if you are expecting from others what God alone provide your love and appreciation for God will diminish. If God seems distant to you perhaps it is because you are attempting to replace him with your neediness for what you want from other people.
When you look for a career or some level of human accomplishment to bring satisfaction, you forget that this type of satisfaction, even if you achieve it, lasts only for the moment. Whatever you may accomplish it will never cover the weight of your own sin.
Are you satisfied in God alone? If not, life offers only a frustrating journey to find something that cannot be found. But, if God is your satisfaction then you are free to enjoy and serve those you love without making them your reason for living. You can show love when your child fails because God is your satisfaction.
You can comfort the people you when they are hurting because God is your comfort. You can be free from needing others to be God for you!
Psalm 62:5-8 beautifully captures this truth:
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge.
This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.