Sitting on the back deck this late lazy May afternoon, I gaze up through a tree, though I'm not taking in the tree at all. My eyes don't even catch the clouds in the sky above rolling by. Coming out here after watching some television episodes on Netflix, I decide to enjoy the remainder of the beautiful afternoon before the sun sets. I bring my Bible with me, and after flipping it open, I began reading Psalm 39-40. Different verses speak to me, and I store them away as little treasures.
But as I sit here, having read, outwardly I'm looking up at the sky, but in reality I am looking deep within me, struck by several realizations.
If this moment were captured in a single snapshot, one would describe it as perfect. And yet I know there is only peace on the surface. Within me needs, insecurities, hopes, and dreams all wait, anticipation building, but for now smothered by contentment.
Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. Psalm 40:17
As men, we are taught to be self sufficient. Expected to live independently and by our own means, reliant upon nothing. And yet David, a man after God's own heart, is found all throughout Psalms crying out for God. In Psalm 42, David poetically describes his need for God like that of a deer that pants for water. David, a king, who had everything he wanted, still needed something more.
While I live, and work for the food that I eat, pay for the shelter over my head and other expenses, I still have needs that can only be met by the Father. And when I try to find purpose, and fulfillment of my own provision, I become miserable, a shell empty and hollow.
We see this captured in Jesus, who fasted for 40 days and afterward said "Man does not live on bread alone." We see this in Messiah who often went off to lonely places and prayed, who had no place to lay his head. He knows what we all must know, that we must draw close to God, to receive what we truly need. His life, in us.
Maybe this is the secret Paul referred to knowing when he wrote "I have learned the secret of being content in every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:12