Behold and be Satisfied

Can you remember the best meal that you’ve ever had? The meal you’ve tried and tried to recreate but just cannot? For me, it was during a trip to the Hamptons….

Ok pause for a sec – I don’t just goooooo to the Hamptons and hang out with T-Swift on the weekends, for the record. I was invited by a friend to go to her employer’s home at the end of the season (that season being summer, though I could comfortably live there year-round) while she closed up the house until the next year. We rode Vespas, slept in luxury suites, and were even treated to dinner at a phenomenal restaurant.

It was at this restaurant that I had the #bestmealofalltime. It was short ribs and pappardelle and whatever it was cooked in and however it was prepared has made it legendary in my mind. I’ve thought about it over the years, tried to recreate it, and I swear I can still taste it if I dwell on the memory long enough.

It’s safe to say that I left that meal feeling satisfied. Content. Filled. Wanting (or needing) nothing else to eat. It was that good.

I recently began a new Bible study titled “Jesus and Women” by Kristi McLelland. By recently, I mean two days ago. I am hooked. In the first session, she references a verse from Psalm 63. The next day, I sat down and read the Psalm in it’s entirety and a few verses popped out at me. Let’s take a look at them:

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods,
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

-Psalm 63:2-5 NIV

David is the author of this Psalm that begins with a description of how he is feeling – needy, thirsty, longing for his God – and where he is – in a dry and parched land with no water.

Ever feel like this? Particularly in #theyearthatshallnotbenamed? To be quite frank, I have felt like I’m living in a dry and weary (or parched) land every day for the past few months. There have been times where I recognized that the deep soul longing that I feel is for Jesus, and other times where I desperately attempt to avoid at all costs feeling all the feelings by burying myself in Netflix, workouts, audiobooks, and the like.

That may be why I am so drawn to this Psalm in this season. David, though weary, worn out, thirsty, and searching, still calls on his God (verse 1). This is so beautifully and painfully personal. God is the God of all, but He’s also inexplicably and undeniably personal. And he is no less personal and for us and with us in the terribly difficult seasons of life than he is in the mountaintop ones.

I love what David declares next. He remembers that he has seen God in the sanctuary and beheld the Lord’s power and glory (verse 2). This made me stop to consider what exactly is meant by “beholding” God. How can we practically do this? I thought about how I often behold my children; gazing at them, considering their personalities, wondering at how perfectly God has made them. I just enjoy them for who they are.

I’m willing to bet that beholding God could be just as simple. Sitting with his Word, letting it wash over us and remind us of who He is and what He has done. Wondering at his perfect love, and actually being still long enough to experience his presence. Preaching the Gospel to ourselves. We are undeniably sinful and flawed and lost and broken, yet Jesus steps on to the scene anyway. He died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). He loves us.

What might happen if we beheld Jesus, especially in barren seasons? David gives us a glimpse:

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods,
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
-Psalm 63:2-5

We will know His love, and we will know that it is better than life itself.

This beholding, this seeing, all of this leaning into His love will lead us to praise and prayer (lifting up our hands). In other words, it will lead us to intimacy with the lover of our very souls, the healer of our hearts, the sustainer of our lives.

And then what shall become of us? David declares that he (we) will be “fully satisfied as with the richest of foods” and when we feel that satisfaction, we will turn right around and explode in praise once again. We will be content, filled, wanting and needing nothing more, not even the best meal we’ve ever had. Just Jesus. Always Jesus.

Sister, if it feels like you are parked dead center in the middle of a freaking desert with no way out, I encourage you to take these words in. Allow them to minister to you. Begin to fix your gaze back on Jesus. Behold the lover of your soul. Allow him to refresh you and sustain you and care for you.

Let’s behold our King, the One and Only, the giver of true soul satisfaction.

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