That word has been sweet to me sometimes, "Every living thing." How comprehensive it is! And how low it descends! How it comes down to the weakest and meanest and least of God's family, if he is only "a thing," only "a living thing!" if he cannot see himself "a man in Christ;" no, nor see himself a child of God; no, nor see himself a new-born babe! If he cannot see in himself the features of a child even, yet to be "a living thing!"
Now, perhaps, if you cannot trace the features of a grown-up man as stamped upon you, and are exercised with distressing doubts whether your experience even amounts to the new-born babe, you may yet come in here, as being "a living thing," a nondescript; a sort of person that cannot make yourself out, having an experience which you think nobody can fathom, having exercises which nobody else seems to be harassed with, and walking in a path where no other child of God seems ever to have walked before you.
Did not one say of old, (and have not you and I echoed his words?) he was "as a beast before thee;" not a man, for "surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man" (Proverbs 30:2), but possessed of life still, breathing after God still, with that in the soul which cannot rest satisfied short of the manifestation and the presence of God.
But here is the mark of the "living thing"—the desire: "Thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing:" not natural desires; not "the desire of the sluggard, which hath nothing," that is, nothing spiritual in the want, or in the answer; but the spiritual desires that the Holy Ghost himself has kindled, desires after God, "as the hart panteth after the water brooks," desires to know Christ by some sweet revelation of his glory, desires to be brought to the foot of the cross, and to have his image stamped upon our soul, desires to be led into the length and breadth and depth and height of that love of his which passeth knowledge, desires to walk before God accepted in the Beloved, desires to feel that in our souls which shall sweetly satisfy us that we are eternally His.
This "living thing," though a nondescript in his own feelings, has that which marks the existence of life in him; and that is, living desires towards the living God, breathing affections after Jesus, a restless, dissatisfied heart, discontented with the things of time and sense, feeling no pleasure in what the world presents, and sighing to the Lord for the discoveries of his grace and his love.