Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Stand Up And Bless The Lord"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 119:103-104 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. (NIV)
Acts 17:28a – For in him we live and move and have our being. (NIV)
The woodpeckers are back. I hear their insistent rat-a-tat-tat from morning until evening. At home or in the bush while I am walking, they are hard at it, looking for the fulfillment of nourishment as they drill into trees in search of food.
Every once in a while, though, I hear the most alarming rat-a-tat-tat that rings out for great distances as a foolish woodpecker seeks to drill into one of the numerous metal roofs so popular here in the north. Sometimes, that same woodpecker will go at that same roof, day in and day out. What futility!
Yet, how often do I — do we — sometimes do likewise? We are all seeking fulfillment in one way or another. We are all hungry: hungry for achievement, acknowledgement, love, acceptance, advancement, enjoyment, or the next best thing that the manufacturers come up with. If we are not careful, such hungers can become our gods, gods who can never fulfill us for any length of time, gods who leave us just as hungry as before — or even hungrier.
When the apostle Paul was in Athens, he recognized a spiritual hunger in the people with whom he rubbed shoulders. He saw that they had altars to numerous gods, including one to an unknown god. Paul saw and knew the futility of seeking after such gods, and so he proclaimed to all who would listen the fulfilling gospel of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection. For in Him and only in Him does mankind live and move and have our being. In Him and only in Him does mankind find everlasting fulfillment amidst the hardships and discouragements and trials of this life and the hereafter. How sweet His promises are to our taste, sweeter than honey in our mouths. Through His Word, we gain understanding and wisdom, and thus are able to hate and turn from every wrong path that ends in futility and pain.
So today, mindful of the woodpecker that is seeking nourishment from a tin roof, if we are feeling unfulfilled and futile within our lives, let us cease our insistent rat-a-tat-tatting. Let us take time to be still and know that He is God, and that in Him we live and move and have our being. Let us prayerfully and praisefully seek the One Who can guide us back into a nourishing life of fulfillment.
Prayer: Father God, how foolish we can be at times. How futile are our attempts to fulfill ourselves when we look to anything and everything but You. Remind us that it is in You that we live and move and have our being, that we might be still and know the best way to go as we seek spiritual nourishment and fulfillment, now and forevermore. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.