Can True Satisfaction only Come through Self-Exhaustion?

by A.C. Williams @free2Bfearless

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 NIV

Feeling satisfied is tough for me, but recently, I think I experienced it. In March of last year, I joined some friends at a Bible camp in Tennessee where I volunteered as a day-laborer.

You never know what assignment you’re going to get at this place. This past year, I ended up in a team of four cleaning up the fallen trees around the archery plaza. Three or four 70-foot-tall trees had come down, and we needed to chop them up, haul the logs out of the hollow, split them with the industrial splitter, and stack them in the wood yard.

Yes, it was as hard as it sounds. I wasn’t using the chainsaw (with my lack of coordination and general clumsiness, there was a definite danger of unintentional amputation), but I did haul branches and logs.

I worked my butt off, y’all. I couldn’t move at the end of the day. I had entirely exhausted myself. And I was satisfied.

But is that real satisfaction? Self-exhaustion? The end of your rope? Wearing yourself out to the place where you can’t even move? I think true satisfaction is deeper than that. It stems from our individual cultures, our worldviews, our personal perspective on what it means to have, do, and be enough. It’s a soul-deep longing for completeness.

As a believer, being satisfied should be part of my identity, but if that’s true, why don’t I experience it? For so long, I’ve had to choose to be satisfied with something when I didn’t actually feel it. Choosing to be satisfied when you aren’t is contentment.

Contentment is good too (don’t get me wrong), but being satisfied is different. Being satisfied is being full, having enough, doing enough. You don’t have to choose it. You just are.

I feel satisfied when I worship, standing in God’s presence, lifting up my voice to sing about what He’s done for me. I know He is enough—more than enough to provide for my needs, to redeem my foolish choices, to forgive my wrongs. He is enough, and I am satisfied.

Can that experience translate to my work? When I eat? When I sleep? Of course, it can, and it should, but it must start with Jesus. God gives us satisfaction. He is the source of it. Maybe we should ask Him to satisfy us in specific ways. 

Before I work, I need to ask Him to help me be intentional in my task list.

Before I eat, I need to ask Him to make me aware of when I am full.

Before I sleep, I need to ask Him to fill my thoughts rather than all the other things going on around me.

Living as a consumer is a never-ending struggle against the unachievable. Nothing but God can fill the cavernous void in our souls, not perfection or money or pleasure or status, yet we would spend our lives chasing satisfaction. Outside of God, we’ll never find it.

Only God can satisfy. That’s not a fuzzy concept or an abstract theory. It’s a practical reality. We only need to apply it.

Can True Satisfaction only Come through Self-Exhaustion? encouragement from A.C.Williams, @Free2BFearless, on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williams
Finding Fireflies

About the author: A.C. Williams is an author and entrepreneur who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks will never match. She prefers Trixie Belden to Nancy Drew, wears her watch on the wrong wrist, and Mr. Darcy is her love language. Follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless.

Join the conversation: Have you experienced satisfaction? Please share your story!


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