“Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, I think I learned the hard way that putting this verse into practice would not come easy, at all. “Delight” would not be a feeling, but would be a deliberate choice!
I have loved the Lord, as far back as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a Christian home with two loving, Christian parents. Then things changed. The foundation of my life was rocked when my parents filed for divorce when I was 17 years old. I didn’t understand why the Lord would allow my family to be irretrievably broken. I experienced sorrow and grief probably for the first real time in my life.
I was angry with God, and in the midst of my anger & confusion, I began taking steps to create my own foundation – work hard, establish a career, be successful, no more counting on anything or anyone else for my happiness. I spent years pursuing these goals. Sure, I still went to church and prayed, but it ended there. I put so many other things before Him, and I let the anger that had started years before, take a larger hold on my heart. In short, God allowed me to face the consequences of the choices I made, and it was not pretty. I had achieved worldly success, but I felt broken, anxious, desperate, full of despair, and unsure of whether I wanted to live one more day.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
This verse became my reality. The Lord had not forsaken me, even though I had pushed him away. God was with me, and He had never abandoned me. He brought me to my knees, and made me understand that apart from Him, I was nothing. He showed me that chasing joy and emotional fulfillment was wrong, and that I needed to focus my heart, mind, body, and soul on making the choice to love him and find joy in Him alone.
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
This verse was my lifeline, and my understanding of “delight” truly began. I realized that I had a choice. I chose to find joy and fulfillment in the One who loved me so much that he gave his most precious possession to insure that I could be with him for eternity. I knew that no matter what happened, good or bad, my Lord was with me. In the years that followed, I began to accept that my Lord was all I needed. While I experienced disappointment and sadness, I would make the choice to find delight in Him. When I was the consummate “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”, I chose to delight in the Lord. While I would ask the Lord to allow me to experience the joy of marriage and eventually, a family, I truly accepted that as long as I had my Savior, I would find joy and be delighted in Him. Let me make it clear that those words came easy, but the state of my mind and heart came after much prayer, but it was authentic –He was my delight!!
For those of you who know me now, you know how my prayers were eventually answered. At the age of 29, I met the man of my dreams. God gave me a loving and, I have to add, handsome man that loved Him most of all. He would become my husband, the father of my children, and my best friend. Our journey to each other was not easy, but it was crystal clear that God was, and continues to be, our foundation. So on June 9, 2001 we exchanged rings that are inscribed with the words of Psalm 37:4.
Ladies, let me encourage you that no matter what your sorrow, whether waiting for a mate, a child, or struggling with some other issue, delighting in the Lord is not a feeling, it is a choice. When you choose to honor Him, to give him your anger, disappointment, and your need to understand the circumstances of your life, you will experience freedom, peace, and delight!
I am married to Mat and we have three beautiful children; Kenton, Logan, & Laurel. We have had the joy of attending Springdale Community Church for 13 years!