The Satisfaction of God

A rainbow over Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh

O satisfy us with your mercy in the morning;
So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Psalm 90:14 (2019 BCP Psalter)

“Satisfy us,” an interesting petition. I am ambivalent about the term, “satisfaction.” Sure, it sounds like a good thing, but won’t it lead me into a state of complacency and inaction? So much of what drives us—or at least, drives me—is precisely a lack of satisfaction. We’re not done yet. And the “not done yet” applies to unfinished projects at work and in my home, and to the unfinished project of mission, bringing the transforming love of Jesus to those who do not know him as we do. I wonder, if I were satisfied, would I ever complete any of these projects?

And yet the Psalmist petitions, “satisfy us with your mercy in the morning.” Being satisfied by God has a result: that we rejoice and are glad all the days of our life.

Our work and mission are at their best when they come out of joy, out of the fulness of satisfaction in the Lord, not out of the emptiness or “not done yet.” The lack of satisfaction that drives us, and drives us often to accomplish much, is problematic precisely because it is DRIVING us. 

It seems significant to me that the timing for this satisfaction is in the morning, that is, at the beginning of the day. Often we think the satisfaction should come at the end, when we are done, but we are never completely done. If we begin with satisfaction in the Lord, then our work and mission spring out of fullness, not out of lack. In this we are led by the satisfaction of God, not driven by the anxiousness of being “not done yet.” There remains a lot to be done. We are not done yet. The mission of the Church is as yet incomplete.

Satisfy us with your mercy in the morning, O Lord, that we may rejoice and be glad, and from that gladness, work toward the completion of the mission.

Grace and peace to you,


Photo by Kevin Patterson, Living Word Photography