God Gives us the Desires of our Heart
It’s one of the shorter verses of Scripture and yet it’s always been a personal favorite: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
The words of Psalm 37:4 came to mind during a recent discussion with our small men’s group (like so many things these days, on Zoom). It revolved around a devotion about God directing our steps.
The author mentioned that at one time, he believed there was only one perfect path for his life, and that if he missed it he would be out of God’s will.
However, he came to see that obeying the Lord isn’t that clear-cut. While He may give us interests and talents in areas, the author said God can bless anything we put our hands and hearts to as long as are seeking Him.
In our discussion, the leader posed the question of whether we believe God has a clear path for our lives and we can miss it.
I chimed in with, “No,” for two reasons.
- Our pastor’s recently concluded sermon series in Genesis.
In it, he talked about how God was working out His plan to create the nation of Israel—this despite Joseph’s brothers kidnapping him, throwing him in a dark pit, and then selling him into slavery.
What’s more, they were a disobedient lot. One brother had sex with his father’s concubine. Another fathered a child out of wedlock with his daughter-in-law, who resorted to subterfuge when he disobeyed God’s command and failed to give his remaining son to her as a husband.
Those are just two examples. These weren’t the kind of folks most of us would have chosen to become a great nation. If God could only bring His plan to perfection through one path, it would have short-circuited before the drama could unfold.
- My own experience.
Until the morning of our discussion, I had forgotten an experience I had while in college at Ohio University.
It happened when I went to talk with a newspaper editor about a possible summer internship. During the interview, he asked me about my future goals.
Now, at the time I was a regular reader of Newsweek. I thought the writing was superb and imagined how great it would be if one could write for a national magazine while working on some other projects.
So, I said—with no idea of where I would wind up one day: “I’d like to be a freelance writer.”
Gonged off the Stage
Imagine The Gong Show and a contestant being yanked off the stage. I guess the editor wanted to hear that I had my sights set on becoming city editor, managing editor, or even the publisher.
Although I can’t remember his exact words, he let me know he didn’t think too highly of my desires. Nor did I get hired for that internship.
Fast-forward nearly 50 years. Had I stayed in the newspaper industry, I probably would have been downsized a decade or two ago, when anyone with seniority was a target for dismissal.
The most ironic part of this story is when I spoke those words, I was far from God. He wasn’t in my thoughts, my plans, my dreams, or my desires. And yet, He knew what was in my heart. That’s the easiest explanation of how I now make my living as a freelancer.