by holly j. clemente
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I would bet that you’ve heard this verse from Psalm 37 in a sermon before. I would even guess that you might have it highlighted in your Bible or saved on your phone. It’s a verse that is commonly cited as a reminder of God’s goodness, a comforting sticky-note that marks God’s promises to give us the best of a hope and a future. Unfortunately I think that when we hear this verse, we tend to zero in on the last part. We rush through the command in order to get to the promise. We bypass our part in the equation and demand that God follow through on His end. And in doing that, we miss out on the real treasure.
In our current culture of instant gratification, I tell my child to wait and he starts bawling as if the world were coming to an end. Why? Because he equates waiting with no. This is so exasperating for me (any other parents raising their hands, saying “me too!”?), and I find myself reminding him- often- that having to wait does not mean that the answer is no. Most of the time, my response to wait is simply because I know that there is a better time coming, a more convenient moment, or even a more special occasion which will make the request fulfilled that much sweeter. So, I tell my son to wait. Even when he whines and cries about it, when the wait seems like FOREVER to his little toddler mind, I stand firm (well, most of the time anyway) knowing that if he waits, the end result will be better than what he is wanting right now. If only he could understand that I really want the best for him- that by telling him to wait, I am really looking out for him! I comfort myself with the knowledge that someday he will understand that it was all for his good. Though it seems like a long time to him now, I know that the wait will soon be over and his desire fulfilled.
And then, it hits me. All too often, the situation is the same with God and me. I have been just as guilty as the next person, finding myself in a snit like any 3 year-old and throwing a tantrum, demanding that God give me what I want when I want it. I plead with Him to give me the desire of my heart and forget all about delighting in Him. The hot heat of humiliation rolls over me as I realize I am putting my wants before what He wants for me, acting like my toddler son whose wants overshadow my knowledge in the given situation. In those moments, he certainly doesn’t value my opinion or appreciate my wisdom. He is not delighting in me, in my love for him, or in all of the thousands of sacrifices that I make for him on a daily basis. Doesn’t he know that I only have his best interests at heart? Can’t he see how much I love him?
Suddenly, my perspective changes. I take a deep breath and realize that in this scenario, I am the toddler and God is the wise, loving parent. His love makes him want to fulfill my desires, but He knows the right time. He sees the whole picture. The wait is really not as long as it might seem. And in the waiting, He wants to remind me that I am not without reward. While my desires may be good and God-pleasing, the real treasure is Him. Being with Him, spending time with Him, getting to know His heart and His desires. His sweet whisper washes over my soul, carrying away the toddler in me, and reminding me who He is.
Don’t you know I only have your best interests at heart?
Can’t you see how much I love you?
Say yes to Me. I am the blessing, the treasure, the only One who will never leave you longing for more.
Say yes to Me. Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. For as you say yes to Me, as you delight in Me, and in my love and wisdom, you will find that I am all you desire.
Holly Joy Clemente has always had a passion to see others get involved in the Great Commission. She prayed and dreamed of a way to use her writing to that end, and God gave her the vision for this blog. Her hope is that others will be encouraged and inspired to trust God and step out in faith when it comes to leaving comfort zones for the sake of the Gospel.
You can find out more about her writing at: https://www.facebook.com/hollyjclemente/