Clara Tear Williams, 1858–1937
For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
The lie of the secularist is the notion that contentment in life is dependent upon material possessions. The going expression is “if I only had just a little more.” One of the important lessons that we should learn early in life is this: “If I am not satisfied with what I have, I will never be satisfied with what I want.” But contentment is an attitude that must be learned and developed. It is foreign to our human behavior. The apostle Paul was shut up in Nero’s dungeon in Rome when he penned these words: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation …” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s contentment was a personal relationship with his Lord. Money can buy many wonderful things, but it never provides this kind of permanent satisfaction. Only an intimate daily relationship with our Creator can truly satisfy the human heart.
In his book Songs That Lift the Heart George Beverly Shea tells of his first meeting with the author of this hymn text, Mrs. Clara Tear Williams. It occurred while he was walking one day with his dad:
“That,” said Dad, “was Mrs. Clara Tear Williams. She writes hymns.” There was a near reverence in his voice, and though I was only eight years old, I was duly impressed. When Dad and I got home that afternoon, I told Mother about meeting Mrs. Williams, the hymn writer. She smiled knowingly and nodded her head. Then she went to the piano bench and found a hymnal that contained one of Clara Tear Williams’ compositions. She explained that Mrs. Williams—a Wesleyan Methodist like us—had written the words, but that the music had been written by Ralph E. Hudson, an Ohio publisher who also was an evangelistic singer. A few years later, when I was in my teens and began to sing solos, I memorized the hymn that Mother played that day and sang it. It was entitled, “Satisfied.”
All my life long I had panted for a draught, from some clear spring, that I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within.
Feeding on the husks around me, till my strength was almost gone, longed my soul for something better, only still to hunger on.
Poor I was, and sought for riches, something that would satisfy, but the dust I gathered round me only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Well of water, ever springing, bread of life so rich and free, untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me.
Chorus: Hallelujah! I have found Him whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings—Thru His blood I now am saved.
For Today: Psalm 42:1; 81:16; 103:5; Proverbs 13:4; Philippians 4:11, 12
Reflect on this question—“What is the true source of my daily satisfaction?” Then sing this musical testimony as you go—