How do I meet my needs?

I’ve pondered recently on how I meet my needs…

I finished reading The Mayor of Casterbridge today, a book my friend Alyssa told me about several weeks ago. She pointed out some interesting dynamics related to needs and the characters trying to meet their needs. I could relate to many things they wanted and needed: love, connection, peace, honor, identity, and truth among others.

The main protagonist, Michael Henchard, undergoes a journey from rags to riches to ruin — mostly brought on by his own choices. At one point after losing everything he commented:

“…the bitter thing is that when I was rich I didn’t need what I could have, and now I be poor I can’t have what I need!”

And the even bitterer thing is that Michael never truly understood his needs or how to meet them. He continuously looked inward, trying to fit others to meet his needs… or to fit himself in others’ lives to get what he wanted. In the end, this left him more needy than before.

Our needs are best met when we turn outward.

We discussed that other characters in the novel continuously had their needs met by focusing outward. Those who tried to lift and serve others inevitably had their needs then met by the reciprocation of those they served. I think this is an important truth in life… that relationships based on mutual service and desire to make the other person happy create the most harmony, growth, and truly flourishing individuals. Neither person is left wanting.

President Uchtdorf said in this regard:

Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us… By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.

The best place to turn is to Christ.

One thing this book lacked, Alyssa pointed out, was that there is one person we can always turn to with all our needs. That person is Christ. He can lift, heal, comfort, validate, encourage, and save us.

And what if our needs are self-induced? Due to our own poor choices? As was the case with Michael Henchard (and I know has often been my case as well)? Christ is still the best place to turn!

This reminds me of another quote from President Uchtdorf:

Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost—whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children.

I’m grateful for my relationships with Christ, and more importantly His relationship with me… Even if I sometimes wander to seemingly greener pastures and take my eyes of His destination, He doesn’t takes his eyes off of me. He helps me meet my needs when I turn outward to Him.

p.s. It’s been nice to have Matt, Chandler, and Elliot back in Utah! We had a family BBQ last weekend with four Duvall siblings :)

3 thoughts on “How do I meet my needs?

  1. Great read, Zach. I’ve lived in that age where I was looking for others to meet my needs until I came to a better understanding of myself and my relationship with God, that God was the start of having all my needs met! It all begins & ends with Christ!

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