By Shawn McEvoy
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.- Psalms 37:4
Today's verse is one of the first I ever learned as a Christian. You probably know it by heart, too. Seems like everyone quotes it. When I learned it as a kid, I couldn't help but thinking it sounded really good, with overtones of blessings and whatever my heart desired, which in later years came to be symbolized in my own mind as a Corvette... even though I would always be one of the first to tell people that's not what it meant.
But it wasn't until the last few years that I came to understand it on another level. Fatherhood will do that to a guy in a lot of ways. When my kids were infants and dependent upon me and my wife for absolutely everything, I saw our own dependence upon God in a whole new light. Now that the kids are four and two, I'm getting a new take on what it is to "delight" in the Lord.
I'd of course recognized there should be joy in following God, and that He was in all ways wonderful. But never did I come into His presence like my children now regularly come into mine, especially when I come home from work. The screaming, the jumping up and down, the laughing. The rush to tell me everything about their days, both the triumphs and the things they got in trouble for. The hugs, the requests to be tossed in the air or chased, the search in my briefcase to see if any treasures have found their way home with me, it all comes with a priceless gleam in their eyes as they search me to know themselves better.
And, the Bible says that's what causes God to give us the desires of our heart? Honestly, that kind of delight, that kind of amazing high, is kind of a euphoric state of its own. I mean, what more does one need but to feel like that about God? Most days, I'd give anything to feel that kind of rush it seems my kids must feel.
It's almost like that's my heart's desire.
And it's like this verse is saying that desire is right here for the very taking, that all I have to do is act on it. I'm a child of the King, and He's never away at work. I don't even have to wait for him to come home. I'm welcome to come boldly into the throne room and praise the wow out of Him. To marvel, wonder, and laugh giddily at His creative handiwork and what He's done for me. To rush to tell him everything about my day, both the triumphs and the spots where I got myself into trouble.
Admittedly, though, we do have other desires, such as physical needs being met, love, etc., and I don't mean to suggest that they're unimportant. Just that here on the cusp of another new year, I'm thinking about what the desires of my heart have actually been, and almost unilaterally, they've been about freedom. At various times in my life, I desired to be free... from depression, from sinfulness of all kinds, from lack of understanding, from loneliness, from fear. And looking back at how God set me free in each circumstance, I honestly see that I never even had to enter in to those places of searching to be filled or delighted in the first place. He was all I needed, I just wasn't seeing Him as one to delight over.
This year is going to pose more challenges for me and my family, but also more growth, more freedom, and more delight. It's like they are all interwoven and dependent upon each other, just like the two parts of this verse.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Today, consider what your own definition of "delight" involves, and meditate on how that meshes with the truest, deepest, most meaningful desires of your heart.
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