Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Okay, it’s confession time. Whenever I see someone who is Mother-Teresa spiritual and SO focused on God 24 hours a day and actually talks about heaven as someplace they cannot wait to be, I feel like a dog because to be honest, I’m just not like that.
Oh sure, I’m one of those crazy Christians who will literally pray with someone at the drop of a hat—in a hallway at work, in a bathroom at Denny’s, with a stranger at Wal-Mart—it doesn’t matter. The minute I hear someone’s problems, I simply lose sight of everything around me and how stupid I might look and I say, “Excuse me, but do you mind if we pray about this?” And I don’t even give the poor schmo a chance to say no, I just forge right on right there, wherever, eyes open and talking to God like I’m chatting about the weather. Usually the person blinks at me like a deer caught in headlights and then most of the time they simply close their eyes and bow their heads, which isn’t really necessary because then people reallllly stare, but neither way bothers me too much. I just think it’s just WAY more important to nail something with prayer right then and there because let’s face it, the chances of you remembering later are slim to nil, right?
And, of course, when I see another author whose books are leaving mine in the dust, giving root to a nasty seed of jealousy, it goes without saying that I ask God to forgive me and immediately pray that He will bless that author all the more, even to the point of packing their sweet, little carcass off to the bestseller list. I mean, come on—I did this for my dear friend, Julie Klassen (a you-won’t-believe-it story I blogged about in my Seeker Blog, “Oh, For the Love of God … Part 2” at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2008/11/oh-for-love-of-god-part-2.html), and geez Louise, look where she is now!! Two time Christy winner who, yes, is now on the CBD Bestseller List!! Okay, okay, maybe she is talented enough to get there on her own, but even so … uh, Julie, can you please kick up a few prayers for this poor slob???
Don’t get me wrong—God IS the most important thing in my life, but let’s be honest. Does He drive my wants and desires? I mean if I had a choice between writing a love scene in my book or reading the Bible, am I gonna sit here and tell you that I would rather spend time with Job, Jeremiah or John over Collin, Mitch or Luke? Regrettably, no because alas, I may not be Mother Teresa material, but God knows I am HONEST to a fault.
So naturally when I read today’s Scripture quote a few days ago, telling me that God will give us the desires of our hearts if we delight in Him, my “desire” list usually reads along the lines of things like getting married, having a baby, getting published, winning a Christy, yadda, yadda, yadda. I mean come on, these things are nice, but they’re not real spiritual, you know? Which is okay because when we delight in God, he DOES give us these types of desires of her heart, truly He does.
For instance, about six months before I got published, I was praying outside on my deck in this cool swing we have, staring out at the woods with tears in my eyes because after countless rejections, I was just certain I would never get published. All of a sudden, this thought comes in my brain that says, “Julie, did I not say I would give you the desires of your heart if you delighted in Me?”
Okay let’s pause here to clear something up right now. Lest you think I’m one of those super spiritual people who actually “hears” an audible voice, no siree. I’m definitely the “B” list variety who hears God in a still, small Voice that is more like a whisper of a thought.
Anyway, this “Voice” (Whom I believe is God), proceeds to say, “Have I ever failed to give you a desire of your heart?” I pause, giving this some serious thought. “Well, let’s see,” I say out loud (because yes I DO talk to the Voice all the time on my deck, which I’m sure has the neighbors a wee bit worried, but no matter), “the four desires of my heart have always been: A.) To get married to a man who would cherish me—CHECK. B.) Have a baby who would cherish me—CHECK, CHECK. C.) Be able to work as a writer even though I did not have a degree—CHECK. And D.) Get published STILL UNCHECKED AT THIS TIME, IF YOU RECALL.
“Well then, Julie,” the Voice says, “if I gave you the first three desires of your heart, why do you think I won’t give the last as well?” I distinctly remember blinking several times before the tears began to well, suddenly realizing that He was right. Because surprise, surprise—giving us the desires of our hearts just happens to be the desire of His—this amazing God we serve.
But you know what? Something strange happened along the way. Yes, those “desires” were wonderful blessings, to be sure, but ironically it was those very desires that have shown me that only one “desire” can ever truly make me happy, truly give me peace and truly satisfy. And that’s the desire to desire HIM more than anything else in this world. To desire His will over mine and to come to a place where my highest pleasure is giving Him pleasure—with my obedience, my worship, and my passion. Sweet mother of Job, it’s only taken me sixty-one years to fully comprehend this, but the light is finally dawning. What can I say? I’m a slow learner. I’m quite sure sweet Mother Teresa is shaking her head with Job, Jeremiah and John, but the wonderful thing is—God is not. He knows we are but flesh—heck, He made us that way! And He’s given us a “Get out of jail free” card where yes, we can ask for the desires of our heart, but He also makes sure each and every one brings us right back to Him. And then, voila! He gives us prayer as a means to accomplish that even more.
My point? PRAY for God to give you passion and fervor for him every day of your life. PRAY that His will becomes more important to you than yours. PRAY that His desire for you becomes greater than your desire for yourself. Because He WILL do it, and you will get a rare glimpse into the joy, peace and hope that Mother Teresa, no doubt, enjoyed on a regular basis.
Do it. Put a smile both on God’s face and Mother Terry’s. I know I am.
RARE BOOK SIGNING!! I don’t do a lot a book signings, but for any of you out there who live close to Grand Rapids, Michigan, I would LOVE to meet you and sign your books at the Baker Book House store. Hope to see you there—here are the details:
WHEN: THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 7:00-8:30 PM
WHERE: BAKER BOOK HOUSE, 2768 E. PARIS S.E., GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49546
SEEKER BLOG GIVEAWAY!! Join me for my Seeker blog this Wednesday, March 14, “A Chip Off the Old (Writer’s) Block,” and have a chance to win a signed copy of Steven’s story, A Love Surrendered, or any of my books PLUS a top CBA book from my personal library. Hope to see you there—here’s the link:
FINALLY … do you know somebody who hasn’t read my books yet but you’d like them to?? Then, hop on over to Writing for Christ blog where one of my dearest blogger friends, Casey Herringshaw (also the winner of my “Have a Character Named After You” contest last year), absolutely blessed the socks off me with a blog that made me cry (yeah, yeah, I know, what’s new?). She is giving away a copy of A Passion Most Pure, so stop on by to win it for someone who hasn’t read my books but you’d like them to OR tell them about it, okay? Here’s the link:
And that’s it for this week—HAVE A GREAT ONE!!