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The Desires of My Heart

I've always been rather perturbed with that verse in Psalms that says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart"?

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of desires. I desire to drink at least one cup of tea a day. I desire my children to not fight. I desire my baby to sleep through the night. I desire a million dollars and maybe a bathroom upgrade and a personal assistant.

Yes, yes, I realize these things might not be the best, but what's so wrong with wanting my children to behave? And what's so wrong with wanting healthy food and a safe neighborhood and people to love me?

These can't be the desires this verse is talking about because many Christians have been tortured to death or been starving or betrayed by their friends. Were those Christians not delighting themselves in the Lord or is this verse talking about different desires?

The verse says that we will be given the desires of the heart and not the body. So God doesn't promise us food, water, clean air, a safe neighborhood, or our health. Troubles of that kind will come upon all of us. Drat!

So what are the desires of the heart?

Here's all the heart's desires that I can think of: to be completely known and understood, to be unconditionally loved and valued, to know that I'm morally good enough, to know right from wrong in order to make choices, to affect change in the world, to have control over my own thoughts, actions, and emotions, to be mentally and emotionally sound even in difficult situations, and to accurately interpret the meaning of things.

Did I miss anything?

If these are the desires of the heart, the verse in Psalms makes a little more sense.

If we delight in the Lord, He will give us all these things. He knows and completely understands us. He loves and assigns us value. He declares we are good enough because of His son's blood. He teaches us right from wrong. He gives us the power to love people and the world so that we make a difference. He becomes the master of our thoughts, actions, and emotions. He gives peace in the midst of difficult situations. And he promises to assign good meaning to all life's events.

The only question remaining is how do I delight in the Lord? I know how to delight in In-N-Out and I understand the idea of delighting in my children—although, heaven knows I quite often don't. I also know what it means to delight in my husband. But delighting in God!? That would mean relishing every moment we're together, thinking of him fondly throughout the day, anticipating the next time we can be together, giving him his dues, and recognizing and accepting his gifts—both the pleasant and the hard ones.

Simply stated, to delight in the Lord is to love him. And I know for a fact I can't muster up love for anyone, especially not the Almighty God whose nature my own heart constantly rebels against. That's like someone telling me to delight in peanuts when I'm deathly allergic to them. We have a problem.

God's very goodness is constantly alerting me to the fact that I prefer my own way. His very presence shines light on my ugliness. Who wants that? Who can love that? It's impossible. We'd need to be remade in order to even look at God. Or, for those of mankind who believe they're quite good already, they'd need their world turned upside-down to see what they're like inside. They'd need all their creature comforts taken away and their health and their sense of security robbed before they might realize they were quite wretched beings and in need of help. And even still some wouldn't want any part of God's goodness.

Good thing God thought about all this ahead of time. He went ahead and ordered us new hearts so that we might be able to turn towards him. And ever time that old heart pops up, and believe me it does quite often, it just serves as a reminder of how desperately we need the Lord.

Perhaps that's as close to delighting in the Lord as we can get, this desperate clinging to God for help, this knowing that we can't do a single thing unselfishly without Him, this looking at the clock and anxiously wondering when we can be alone with Him again for a breath of goodness and comfort and assurance that we're loved unconditionally.

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