By Liz McCarlson
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” –Psalm 90:14 (ESV)
This psalm has been a favorite of mine for a number of years. I think I started to like it so much when I first read it in my NIV Bible, which says, “…that we may sing for joy…” Being a musician, especially a singer, the idea of God’s love causing me to sing really hit a chord (pun intended). However, I have come to realize that when I was thinking of God’s love, I was thinking of it as this emotional, mushy, unicorns and rainbows, “everything’s happy” kind of love. Now, sure, God’s love can make us happy, and the verse even talks about us being “glad all our days,” but there’s more to it. If I’m not happy, does that mean God doesn’t love me? Or that I’m not experiencing enough of God’s love? That I’m doing something wrong? Well, yes, I am doing something wrong. I’m misinterpreting what God’s love truly is and in doing so, I’m making His love cheap, like the “love” I see in the world around me that is selfish, rather than selfless.
The heading in my Bible informs me that Psalm 90 is a prayer of Moses. Like any good prayer, Moses starts out by praising God and reminding us how awesomely magnificent God is. He then goes on to say how utterly sinful we are, and how we deserve God’s wrath to be poured out on us. In this acknowledgement of sin and shame, Moses cries out, “Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!” It’s a plea for mercy—that the Lord would no longer turn His face from His people. Then we read, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love…” To be satisfied means to be in want or need of nothing. In Romans 5:8 we see what love is: “but God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love involves sacrifice and giving us what we don’t deserve (forgiveness, grace) and not giving us what we do deserve (judgment, wrath). God’s love for us sinners was demonstrated at the cross. That is a love that I cannot fully comprehend, but I know it is true, no matter how I feel. And this love causes me to rejoice and be glad, even when my circumstances and the world around me are not “peachy-keen” because I’m rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4), in what He has done for me at the cross, and I am glad because my sins are forgiven and I have an eternal hope in my Savior, Jesus Christ!