As I am sitting here scrolling through the TV guide I find myself landing on Lifetime. I am confident everyone knows this network, as it is the picture-perfect example of the following:
- Happy-ish person going along in life with no major complaints, but missing that elusive “something”
- Enter antagonist (problem)
- Enter hero (usually a man the woman falls in love with)
- Solve problem together
- Live happily ever after
For the most part, this is the outline for every movie on the network! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love myself some popcorn and a sappy movie, but I find that at times I wish my life was that easy. People always hope for the Fairy Tale ending. Although, sometimes what people forget is while things may end well for those countless fictional characters, if you actually read their story it is anything but easy, filled with heartache, loss, desperation and at times depression.
Ever since I was a young girl I was a dreamer. A girl who imagined the impossible could be possible and anything I wanted to do I could do it! There are a lot of people like this, but there are also a lot of people who don’t necessarily resonate with words like dream and imagine. Either way everyone can agree on the fact that we have desires or goals in life. Work goals, vacation goals, husband goals, owning a business goal, children goals, anything you have ever wanted to have can be considered a goal or dream. As children we are encouraged to chase our dreams and do whatever we want, but as we grow older that nurturing fades and reality sets in. We eventually start to think that since we haven’t reached those goals we are never going to and we should move on.
As followers of the Lord I believe we have desires in our lives that the Lord has given each and every one of us that make us who we are. They may be big or small, but nonetheless they are there. I also know that sometimes when we are told to wait or feel like we haven’t gotten an answer we are quick to give up because obviously the Lord has forgotten us and we should just move on.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37: 4-7, New International Version)
This verse, is perhaps, one of the most overused verses in the entire bible when people are struggling with not getting what they want. Oh, but just take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart, don’t worry honey, it’ll all work out. To those people, I say, thank you, but no. I don’t want to hear it’ll all work out, that is not advice, that is what people say when they don’t know what to say. To put this verse into perspective we need to understand where it is coming from.
David. King David. Godly above Godly. Simply described as a man after God’s own heart. Anyone who knows anything about David knows that the Lord bestowed great favor upon him, but they also know that it came at great cost and David is a poster child for “how can I take my current situation and make it worse?” For several chapter’s we read David’s cries to the Lord. He is asking for the wicked to fail while he prospers, simply put, Lord, please give me what I want.
If David, a literal King, struggled with this, why would we think ourselves any different. Most of the time though, we skip straight to the part where we want the Lord to give us what we want when we want it with no regard for if our desires line up with the Lord’s desires. People often forget verse 7 which actually says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” Patiently, ha! I’m out.
There are many times in my life when I thought I knew best. I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it and could not for the life of me understand why God was not allowing me to have it. After some time had passed and I could actually look at the situation reasonably, I realized I did not know what was best and if I had gotten what I wanted it would have not worked out. We are all human, we do this a lot, we always have, we always will, that is just life…it doesn’t make us ungodly, or unchristian, it makes us human. But if we can learn to align our desires with the Lord we will begin to understand why we have to wait for some things and don’t get others at all. This is something that you can find countlessly in the bible, book after book, chapter after chapter, verse after verse. David struggled with it, Ruth, Esther, John, Peter, the list could go on almost indefinitely!
I have a deep desire to be married one day. My sister has a deep desire to have more children. My mother has a desire to travel the world. My friends, to have a job that they love. I cannot tell you why the Lord does not answer prayers right away, but I can tell you that I know for a fact that he only has our best interest at heart. There are over 6 billion people in this entire world and he thought that it needed one of you.
Whatever your desire may be, align it with the Lord and patiently, impatiently, patiently, wait upon him! It is okay to want, to hurt, to feel sad and long for things, but we can find some comfort in the fact that the Lord will never leave you and ultimately wants you to be joyful. Not just happy, but joyful in knowing that he truly has our best interest at heart. We can wake up each morning and say I am clothed with strength and dignity and I laugh without fear of the future (paraphrase Proverbs 31:25) because my Lord is already there. When we focus on him our problems of the world are just that, worldly problems. We as sisters in Christ are not in it for the world, we are in it for the Lord.