Satisfied with Little

  • Pete Johnson
Small house in a green grass field

Growing up in church we often sang the hymn, Mansion over the Hilltop. A hymn written by Ira P. Stanphill in 1949 and made “famous” by Elvis Presley in 1960; Track #10 on his Gospel album, His Hand in Mine. As I reflect back on those days, sitting in those wooden pews with the red cushions, I can still hear the congregation singing…

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that’s silver lined

(Now if you are familiar with that era and song, you probably just sang the lyrics instead of just reading them. Maybe you then went on into the chorus.)

The song, for most of the folks in our congregation, was a spur of hope that no matter how little we had on this earth, Heaven was a promise of that mansion in glory! As Christians, when we hear a phrase like “Satisfied with Little”, we tend to apply it to how our attitudes should be during our existence here on earth as it relates to material things. Basically, we take the phrase and put it through the filter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11

While this is very true, as Christians we must learn to be satisfied with our possessions, health, and wealth along with our present circumstances. Yet the idea behind the phrase “Satisfied with little”, can be a detriment to our real joy and happiness. NO, I don’t subscribe to a health and wealth gospel, and I am not talking about anything material.

I want to poke you and myself, in a way that will just perhaps make us think “Am I satisfied with little when it comes to my walk with the Lord?” A lot of us are like the old Brylcreem commercial … “A little dab will do ya!” A little prayer, a little Bible reading, a little church going, a little serving, a little sharing Christ with others is good enough. Yet we fill up on the things that the World has to offer and question: “Where is this joy and peace that God’s Word speaks about?”

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5, that we are to be “filled with the Spirit”, that’s a whole lot more than “a little dab”. Paul also writes in Galatians 5:16–26 the need to walk in the Spirit so that we don’t fulfill the desires of our flesh. The desire of our flesh is to be satisfied with little when it comes to God, His Word, and His work.

Where are you today? Are you satisfied with little in your walk with the Lord, or do you desire more?

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103:1–5