by David Sisler
They went to their pastor as the last resort.
In almost every aspect of their lives, Sharon and Andy were successful. He was a partner in a prominent law firm. She started selling gift ware out of their home and later opened boutiques in popular shopping malls. Their mail was delivered to the city's most prestigious neighborhood. Their marriage though, was collapsing.
They walked into their pastor's study and sat on opposite ends of the couch. The only way they could have gotten any farther apart would have been to have pushed off the arm rests. It was an indication of how far apart they were in their relationship with each other. Their pastor remembered when they had sat on that same couch for premarital counseling.
"They sat in the middle," he said, "touching, holding hands, nodding in agreement. But here they were at opposite ends, trying to get still farther apart."
For a few moments there was an awkward silence. Then the pastor asked Andy to recall what he had loved most about Sharon, when they were dating. Instead of doing that, he spent the next hour, a full sixty minutes, tearing her down. All the feelings which had been closed up inside of him were released in torrents of bitterness.
To her credit, Sharon kept silent.
"Are you finished?" she asked.
Andy looked at the opposite wall and did not answer her.
Spurred first by his attack and then by his rejection, she jumped to her feet, thrust her finger into his face and with a voice bathed in anguish shouted, "What will it take to satisfy you?"
At Sharon's question, Andy buried his face in his hands and wept uncontrollably. The hurt caused by Andy's attack was still evident in Sharon's eyes as she sat down, and slowly, hesitantly, reached for Andy. His fingers were balled into a fist when her hand first touched him. As though shocked by electricity, he pulled his hand away and then just as quickly put it back. Sharon nervously ran her fingers over his hand and then she, too, began to cry.
The battle to restore their marriage wasn't over, but the first campaign toward victory began with Sharon's question. "What will it take to satisfy you?"
An obscure Proverb says, "Greed has two daughters. Their names are ‘Give me. Give me.' There are three things that are never satisfied. There are really four that never say, ‘I've had enough! These things are the cemetery, the childless mother, land that never gets enough rain, and fire that never says, ‘I've had enough!" (Proverbs 30:15-16).
Reading that proverb I ask myself, and I ask you, "What will it take to satisfy you?" Power? Money? Sex? Health? What will it take to satisfy you?
Several years ago a professional athlete excused his sexual excesses by explaining his self-declared obligation to "have sex with as many women as I could." The desire to satisfy his lusts became all consuming.
Snorting cocaine, shooting heroine and drinking alcohol are not the only addictive behaviors which enslave people. The desire to be satisfied by something, by anything, is as overwhelming as any narcotic. Have it once, and you'll first want more, then need more, finally, you'll be consumed by more.
Everything in the universe, even the good things, will be empty and hollow and meaningless and pointless until Jesus of Nazareth, God the Son, fills every area of your life. Unless Jesus fills you, you will not be satisfied. Your desires will envelop you. Finally they will consume you.
We joke about Chinese food – you're hungry a half an hour after you've eaten. One day Jesus served a meal to 4000 people who "ate, and were satisfied." What will it take to satisfy you? If your answer is anything other than Jesus, you will never be satisfied.
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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