What do you do when the desires of your heart feel untouched?
It's sitting right there at the top of your mind the second you read that question. Every single one of us was born with an intense, burning desire in our heart that is connected to our purpose. When those desires and prayers are left unanswered, it creates this tension in our heart. I used to feel like I had to be comfortable with that tension, and perhaps that's not entirely wrong.
Psalms 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desires."
Take delight? Boom, done! That's so easy! I love Jesus, I do my best to follow Him wherever that leads me, and I am so grateful for everything He has blessed me with. Check. Can we move on to the next part, please? I'm obviously killing this, so can I just have my desires fulfilled now? Please??
I laugh as I write that because that is a true prayer of mine. I want to read this verse, believe I've got it nailed, and expect God to say "OH! I didn't realize you were actually doing this, but thank you for bringing it to my attention. Here you go, daughter!" Don't look at me like I have two heads. You've put words in God's mouth before, too. It's okay. He already knows.
The problem is when I start to truly believe this is how God works. It isn't, of course, but my flesh craves it to work this way. I do good, He blesses me immediately. I sow a good seed, I reap all the harvest I think I need. I sow bad seed, I pretend it wasn't there and walk away. Right? Tell me I'm not alone in this!
Instead, God is taking me on this really
fun interesting path of growth. Great plan in thought, sometimes scary in practice. The problem with my thought process before, is that I was focusing on what I was doing and who I am, instead of truly taking delight in who God is. Does God want to bless me? Absolutely! What Father doesn't want to give His child happiness? Does God expect me to always get it right? Absolutely not! Yet He loves me and cares for all of my needs regardless of me, because of how good He truly is.
Sometimes taking delight looks an awful lot like dropping to your knees and sobbing in prayer. Sometimes it looks like the pit that you're in, whether it be from someone else or on your own doing, and yet raising your hands to Him anyway. Sometimes it looks like gathering with a group of friends and laughing until you have tears rolling down your face, even though you just had the hardest morning of your life.
Maybe we're getting it all wrong. We focus on the current, the now - we focus on the exact emotion we feel (and maybe allow that to dictate our entire day/week/year/life?) rather than what God is always doing behind the scenes. He is the only one who gets to see that big picture, while we're sitting here feeling all the feelings and eating too much cake. Yeah, I'm a stress eater, too.
Let's take the pressure off ourselves and allow ourselves to live as though we are radically loved by Jesus. Because we are, so very radically loved that we can't even understand a smidgen of it. The beautiful thing about living like we're loved to pieces by Jesus is that we begin to truly learn that our joy comes from Him, and only Him. He is a bubbling spring of joy, and we get to be a part of that.
Maybe that's what taking delight really is. Seeing our circumstances, choosing to see that Jesus has so much joy for us in the process of the hard stuff, and then He gives us our heart's desires.
And isn't it truly our desire, and our purpose, to love and be loved by Jesus? We may not realize it because of all the unanswered prayers we see looming in the now, but God, in that big picture moment, loves us way too much to give us everything we think we want. What beautiful protection that truly is.
So friend, do you take delight in the Lord? It might look different for you than it does for me, and that's okay. God will show you, if you ask Him. Choose joy, in spite of your pain. Choose joy, in spite of your circumstances. Choose joy, in spite of your self. The results just might
scare surprise you.
Lord, thank you for loving us so much more than we deserve. Thank you for always working behind the scenes and protecting us from the desires we hold tightly onto, even though they may hurt us. We are so grateful for your provision. Please help us see what it looks like to truly take delight in you. It's a longing of our flesh to have all of our prayers answered, Lord, and you know how discouraged we can get when your answer to us is a no. Show us how to grab tightly onto the joy you long for us to experience. Help us get out of our own ways. We love you, Jesus. Amen.