Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4
Sounds easy…right? Well, I think I had to learn the hard way that putting this verse into practice would not come so easy for me. “Delight” would not be a feeling, but would be a deliberate choice!
I grew up the youngest of four, with a father as a pastor, which meant church has always been a big part of my life. I placed my trust in Christ at the early age of seven and was so excited to live my life for the Lord. I distinctly remember memorizing Ps 37:4 and how powerfully it spoke to my heart, quickly becoming a favorite of mine. However, my early impression of this verse and the way my mind interpreted it was that if I read my Bible, prayed, and went to church enough, I would get all my little heart desired. Of course, I would never think of actually saying these words to anyone for how it may sound, but deep in my heart this belief took root. Little did I know that God would quickly change this false perception as I journeyed through my twenties, which would inevitably move my misguided view of what I wanted, to what He needed for me. Also moving me from an emotion of happiness to an intentional choice of delighting in Him.
I remember a time when my sisters and I were in high school, and my dad encouraged us to make a list of ten things we would like to find in a future husband. I made my list and tucked it away in my journal with a secret desire to one day see this come to fruition. It wasn’t until after college I was introduced to a guy that I was overwhelmed to discover shared the qualities I had made on my list so many years ago. I was blown away that the Lord saw fit to bring us together. However, like in many stories, after only dating for about nine months our relationship abruptly ended. We had been dating long distant and without a word, email, or phone call, he thought to himself that I would just “get the hint”. My heart broke and disappointment set in, questioning everything Psalm 37 ever meant to me. We just stopped communicating all together leaving me with this feeling of complete despair.
I spent years pursuing what I thought would fulfill me, never really knowing exactly where I was going or not knowing the cliché, “What I want to be when I grow up” scenario. So I just attempted to just move forward. Nothing seemed to offer fulfillment with ending with a job after graduation that I hated from the start. Most of my friends and family had gotten married and moved on, pushing me toward isolation and loneliness.
Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He hadn’t abandoned me, but brought me to my knees helping me understand that apart from HIM, I had nothing. The Lord showed that chasing a list or mere emotional fulfillment was wrong, and all I needed was to focus my heart, mind, body, and soul on making the choice to love and rejoice in Him alone. I began seeking Him like never before, desiring to be rooted deeply in His Word. I began choosing joy in the One who loved me so much that He gave all, His one and only Son, offering an assurance and confidence I never had before. Did my heart still desire to experience the joy of marriage one day, yes, but finally understood that my true joy and desire came only from delighting in Him alone.
For those of you that know me, you know my prayers were eventually answered marrying the man of my dreams. After five years of not speaking to each other Joel, the man I dated at age 22, came back into my life and we are so happily married. Let me encourage you that no matter what your sorrow or disappointment may be, delighting in the Lord is not a feeling it’s a choice. When you choose to honor Him and give Him your anger, disappointment, and your need to understand your circumstances of your life, you will experience freedom, peace, and delight like you have never know.
Holy Father, forgive me for not choosing to delight in You, for You alone are my source. Forgive me for leaning on my own understanding and not asking You for Yours. Today I am making a choice to believe that You are Lord of my life, and I trust You to do what is best for me. Quicken me Holy Spirit when I start to veer off course, and follow my own path and not the one You have set before me. Thank You for ordering my steps and teaching me how to truly delight in You. In Jesus name, Amen.