Ever Grateful Never Satisfied

I was recently asked to describe my favorite room in my house. My answer? “It depends on the season.”

During the winter, my favorite place is the warm, cozy family room by the fireplace. In warmer weather, my favorite is the airy, sunlit space in what we call our “three-season room.” Both places offer a comfy chair that invites the simple pleasure of relaxing and reading. I love a good book!

Recently, I’ve been contemplating four words that commanded my attention as I sat reading: “ever grateful, never satisfied.” I circled each word pairing. And I determined that I wanted this described reality to be my truth.

Here are the four words, in context, from Dr. Rob Reimer’s book River Dwellers (pg. 45):

We need to be ever grateful for every good thing God gives to us but never satisfied. We need to pursue God for more of His Spirit and for an ever-deepening connection with Him.

As I thought about this compelling mix of gratitude and hunger, an experience I had as a young mom played like a scene from a movie in my head. I am pushing my young son on our backyard swing. At one point, I give him an “under dog” push, propelling him skyward as I run under his swing. He soars as high as I can manage and squeals in delight, “Again!” He loves the experience and wants more.

As I recalled this scene, I thought, Yes! Like my young son on the swing, I receive what you’ve given me, God. I delight in it. Keep it coming! Don’t stop. I want more! And I determined to prepare my heart for more of God, to increase my capacity to both receive and give.

Then this verse came to mind: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes (Isaiah 54:2).

Enlarge. Stretch. Lengthen. Strengthen. These are active verbs that help me see what my life can look like as I remain grateful for all of God’s gifts yet pursue and prepare for more of Him.

Now is not the time to shrink back in discouragement or complacency. Now is the time to make more space for God and others in confident expectation that He will provide. So, once again, it’s time for a heart and gut check.

I invite you to consider these questions along with me. First, “What is the attitude of my heart? Am I grateful today?” If not, what needs to happen? Do I have unconfessed sin? Am I harboring unforgiveness? Am I carrying burdens that Jesus wants me to release?

Second, “What is my gut feeling? Am I expectant and hungry or complacent, half-hearted, or indifferent?”

God, have mercy. As my heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts, give me a desire for more of You. Amen.

Jen Vogel

Jen served as national director for Alliance Women from 2015-2023; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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