~~Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
“God,” I cried out as the tears streamed down my face and my feet pounded the pavement, “I want to desire you. I want to delight in you. But, honestly, I really just want a husband.”
I had escaped the house and my three young children to run. Something about running helped me refocus, clear my mind. It was an opportunity to be alone with God, to pour out my heart to Him.
I was in the midst of an unbelievably difficult divorce, reeling from the trauma of my husband’s affair. My heart was shattered into a million tiny pieces. My life was in shambles. I was terrified of the journey ahead, one filled with hardships of every kind.
All I wanted was to have my life back, to have the security of a husband and a normal family. All I wanted was companionship, someone to hold me close on those lonely nights. All I wanted was someone telling me I was loved.
And as I poured out my heart, expressing my pain and my desires, I heard the still small voice.
“It’s ok,” He said. “I know your heart longs for a husband, for companionship. I also know you are surrendered to me, desiring to know me more than anything else. I have it all under control.”
His sweet whisper calmed my heart, relieved my fears. In that moment, with those precious words, I knew that God knew my heart’s greatest desire. And I was completely convinced He was planning something amazing.
It’s been seven long years since that conversation with God. I’ve reminded Him over and over of His promise, of His faithfulness. I’ve reminded Him of my heart, of how I have repeatedly chosen Him over the momentary pleasures of this life. I’ve reminded Him that He has promised to give me the desires of my heart.
As I’ve walked this journey, I’ve struggled to understand God’s ways. Does He always give us what our hearts desire? What if our desires are in conflict with His will? How do we reconcile this principle from the Psalms with reality?
Yes, there was a day when my greatest desire—perhaps my only desire—was to have a husband, someone to love me and walk through this life with me. But somewhere along the way, somewhere as I sought my Savior, He changed me. He changed my desires.
I still want a husband. I still want companionship. I still want someone to hold me at night. But, instead of longing for a husband, I find myself wanting God more than I want anything else.
God changed my desires to make them His desires.
And that’s the way God works. When we submit ourselves to Him, offer ourselves as living sacrifices, He changes us from the inside out. He takes our hearts, our desires, and changes them to reflect His heart, His desires.
But how do we delight ourselves in Him? How do we allow Him to take over our lives, to change our desires to His desires? Perhaps we can find some hints in the surrounding verses.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Psalm 37:5a
God doesn’t want part of our lives. He doesn’t want specific areas. He doesn’t want us to commit portions of our lives to Him. He wants us to commit everything we do to Him.
Every day when I wake up, I ask God to take my day, to live my life through me. Whether it’s what I say or write or my work or my play, I don’t want it to be done in my power. I want it to be God living and working through me. In every single area of life, it is Him through me.
Trust him, and he will help you. Psalm 37:5b
So often, I find myself wavering in fear. How will I pay these medical bills? How do I help my children heal from the pain they are facing? What if my daughter continues to have medical problems? The questions never end.
But there’s only one answer: God. He is my helper. He is my provider. He is my healer. He is my protector. He is my everything.
When I learn to release fear and trust Him, He is always there, always willing to help.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:7a
How often I get caught up in the craziness of this life! Life tends to go non-stop, barely a chance to breathe. As I chase my kids from one activity to the next, trying to keep up with the demands on my life, I find myself run-down, exhausted, barely surviving from day to day.
I must learn to slow down, be still in His presence. I must learn to wait patiently for Him, to let things happen in His time. I must learn to cast my cares on Him, to rest in Him.
And then, as I intentionally search for calm in the midst of the chaos, I find the peace and joy of my Savior.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Psalm 37:8
Are you harboring anger and bitterness in your heart? Are you angry with someone, something? It’s time to let it go. Let forgiveness flow through your heart and wash over others. Rid yourself of every root of bitterness.
As you let go of any rage or bitterness keeping you stuck in this life, He will change your heart, change your mind. He will purify your desires, making them like His. He will set you free from the heavy burden of anger and rage.
And as we seek to delight in Him, we experience the goodness of the Father. We get to experience His love and grace poured out on us.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:6
When enemies come against us, God steps in. He makes our innocence shine. He brings truth to light. He defends us in the presence of our accusers. He makes our reputation spotless.
We can trust God to shine His light on the justice of our cause. His light shines brightly.
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Psalm 37:9
As we trust in Him, we possess the Promised Land, a Land flowing with joy and peace, love and goodness. We find His perfect peace guarding our hearts and minds, even in the midst of the chaos. We enjoy the abundance of living in His presence every single day.
And you know what else?
Even as we enjoy the abundance of a life lived in His presence, even as we see our desires shifting to His desires, we also find our earthly desires becoming reality.
Do I still believe God has a special man for me? Absolutely! And now that my heart is fully His, He has free reign to do as He sees fit. And I am now in a position to accept the gift of seeing my heart’s second greatest desire fulfilled.