Delight Yourself in the Lord

Yes, that’s what David wrote in Psalm 37:4.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I’ve always been amazed at how often we quote this verse, and, coincidentally, how loathe we are to quote other verses from this beautiful acrostic poem of David’s. For instance, how many times have we quoted verse 8?

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.

Or verse 16, one of my personal favorites (it reminds me that riches are truly not counted in dollars).

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.

I would say that it’s funny how drawn we are to the verse that talks about God giving us what we want rather than the verses that talk about doing what is right or being blessed in having “little,” except that it’s really not funny at all. It’s rather sad, actually.

And it’s frustrating to me personally. I write this not because I am frustrated with other Christians, but because I am frustrated with myself. How I long for God to give me all that I desire! And how I cry when He doesn’t! In some ways, I fear I am still incredibly childish. And when God doesn’t give me what I desire, my reaction is not usually, “God must have something better for me!” No, no…I usually suffer through my own tantrum before I realize that God is patiently waiting for me to remember that He has a good plan for my life–a better plan, it’s worth noting, than any I could put together.

But I’m learning. That’s the key, right?

But man. I can’t help but wonder if David knew, deep down, that self-focused, frustrated, depressed young women like me would latch onto this verse (verse 4) and want it to mean something it doesn’t. If David didn’t, God certainly did, for He compelled David’s poetic hand to clarify (or confound…it’s hard to tell which) the following verses–same chapter, verses 23-25:

If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; [24] though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. [25] I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

So how do we move from seeking our own desires to seeking that Christ would delight in us? I think the answer is right back in verse 4: Delight yourself in the Lord. When our desires fall in line behind that delight, that desire for God, then I think we are in a place where God not only delights in delighting us, but where He can begin to change any desire that is unaligned with His plan for our lives.

And oh, is that a difficult place to be if you don’t continue delighting in Him! The truth is, He may ask us to give some things up. He may change our goals, our passions. He may bring something into your life that is entirely not what you wanted or expected.

Oh, I pray that He does. I pray that He changes my desires–makes them His own. I want my life to reflect my beautiful Savior in some small way. I want to hear those words, “well done, good and faithful servant.” I want to know that deep joy and satisfaction of seeing His face in the New Jerusalem and realizing that everything–all the struggle, all the frustration, all the obstacles and challenges and changes, all the burdens–was worth it.

In the meantime, we grow. Seed by seed. Root by root. We dig in, we feed on God’s Word, we drink deep of His Spirit, we turn our faces to His Son, and we push through the dirt until He brings our desires to fruition. Suddenly, we forget that we desired anything other than His own being.

So don’t stop. The reward is near. Keep on. Push through the dirt, spread your arms, and bloom.