A friend whispered as she handed me a gift that I had jokingly coveted for a year, “Alene, God knows the desires of your heart.” I knew He did or rather I knew the scripture that I had long ago memorized.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Why do I memorize scripture and then not take it to heart — not believe it? It’s so easy to read holy scriptures as if they were written like any other self-help book I could find at Barnes and Noble. But scriptures are not just self-help words — they are Truths to be taken deep into the core of our hearts, believed, acted upon, and trusted.
But when you are going through a rough season it is hard to reign your mind back in to the fact that God DOES know the desires of your heart and that He DOES care and want the best for you. Instead our minds stay fixed on how we can make it through the day or where we can run to avoid the pain.
And running I’ve done. I ran clear to the coast of Kodiak to live unconnected from the majority of the world for two weeks. The thought of running away from hurts and disappointments swirled through my mind as I knew it was impossible. But I ran to escape, and ran straight into the wonders and living colors of God’s love.
It’s easy to fix your eyes on God and delight in Him when you are within feet of his creations — sea lions, otters, bears, glaciers, mountains, orca’s. God’s creativity blown up full scale to boast of his magnificence. It’s during difficult times that we need to set our gaze constantly upon God, not only when we can easily see his beauty about us.
The desires of my heart.
For the last year, I’ve been giving hubby a hard time over the fact that the last time we went to Alaska we didn’t get to do the one thing I had longed to do — fish for salmon. It was a running joke, but there was heart at the bottom of it. I wanted to fish for salmon. Isn’t that what you do in Alaska?
As we boarded the last leg of our flight in Anchorage headed to Kodiak, hubby yells out, “Hey Eric!” He was a long-ago friend from the Coast Guard. Small world we live in for sure! Long story short — he was up there fishing for a week, has a boat, and invited us to join him for a day. Say what?
The morning we boarded his boat the fog was thick. It hung in the air as if to silence and suffocate the joy out of the moment. We charted onward with a faint light from a larger vessel leading the way out of the sound. We went slow and measured each movement. Eventually the grey fog lifted and the sun broke through.
This is life.
Disappointments and disabilities have a way of suffocating the joy right out of our moments. We want to run to the ends of the earth to escape, to be released from the thick fog because that’s all our eyes can see. But if we just keep walking day-by-day eventually Light will burst forth. We’ll see God clearer than ever and spend hours delighting in him.
I love the uplifting beauty of “God will give you the desires of your heart.” It brings a smile to my soul. This truth is quick to pick me up and put my eyes back on the Lord. But in my loving of this truth, sometimes I forget the WHOLE Truth of it.
I can’t just boast that God will give me the desires of my heart. That wasn’t the whole point of the scripture — of the sentence. Only a comma separates that message from the most important truth . . . DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD.
When I do my part, God does his part. And delighting myself in God is easy as there are so many blessings to count. (If you need help finding and counting them, read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.) This delighting is ongoing — through messy moments, foggy and sunny days.
I couldn’t out run God’s goodness and neither can you. From the far ends of the country, he orchestrated chance meetings to make himself known and bring me the gift of fish.
Delighting in God lifts my eyes to see he is the Giver of desires, gifts, and truth.