"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires." Psalm 37:4
At first glance, this verse looks like the solution to any problem. "If I 'delight' in God, He will give me what I want!" Out of context, I think this is how most people interpret the verse - it's how I used to read it. You see the verse on t-shirts and coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets and desk calendars.
In my teens and early twenties, I started to hear a different message - one that didn't make me feel so good at the time. It was explained that when I delight in God, He will remove my desires and give me His desires. The pride and independence in me frowned at the thought. I like my desires, and they're not *bad.* Why can't He grant them? Why did He give them to me if He's not going to fulfill them?
Fast forward to today. God has been hard at work in my life in ways I never imagined. The things I thought I would never do (because I didn't think I would like them or think I would be able to do them), I am doing. There are things I thought I would have done by now - relationships, goals, etc. - that haven't happened yet. And that's okay.
This week, I've heard two messages that focus on Psalm 37:4, and both explained it in a way I feel I've never heard before (or maybe my heart is just finally ready to accept it). When we delight in the Lord above all else, He gives us what become the desires of our hearts. When we set aside what we THINK we want, He gives us what we never realized we wanted and needed.
Louie Giglio gave a humorous example. He grew up in Georgia and never had Mexican food. Ever. Then, he met his wife and tried enchiladas for the first time with her family. Eh. They were okay. He got used to having them when he and Shelly visited her family.
THEN, he discovered nachos - with jalapenos! Again, growing up in Georgia, he was raised on mashed potatoes and fried chicken and other mild/bland foods. The jalapeno was quite a shock! And now? Now, Louie craves nachos. Shelly has to help him not overdo it, especially at night.
So, maybe that is what our journey is like. We have these human desires, good or bad, that are limited because we can't even imagine what God has for us (Ephesians 3:20). When we finally surrender those desires and allow ourselves to completely delight in God, He gives us the gift of His desires for us, and we experience a joy greater than we could have ever imagined. It may awhile to see and appreciate the change (like it took the introduction of enchiladas to open Louie up to the idea of Mexican food), but we reach a point where we cannot imagine our life before we knew the goodness of delighting in the Lord and His desires for us. This is a GOOD word! It's not second-rate.
My prayer is to learn more and more how to delight in God above all else and allow Him to give me the desires of my heart.