The Lent experiment, part 37

Today: Psalm 37.

‘Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ (Ps. 37:4)

‘He will give you the desires of your heart’… That sounds promising! It sounds like God is some kind of cosmic ‘Sinterklaas’ or ‘Santa’ who’s job is to fulfill all our desires. With a divine promise like this it seems strange that not more people believe in God. Who doesn’t want to have all their heart’s desires fulfilled?!

But let’s look more carefully what is really promised here. Because the promise ‘He will give you the desires of your heart’ is preceded by the exhortation to take our delight in God. Those two, taking our delight in God and receiving the desires of our heart, belong to each other. You cannot separate them.

Only when we seek our deepest joy in God he will give us the desires of our hearts. Because the more we long for God, the more your heart’s desires converge with those of God. The more we come to know God and learn to love him, the more we will desire what God desires. And those desires will definitely be fulfilled in our lives!

Is God our greatest desire? If not, our desire is not big enough. C.S. Lewis once said it like this: ‘It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.’

Prayer: God, may we desire nothing less but you today. Enlarge our desire so that nothing can satisfy it but you. Let us not be too easily pleased. If our greatest delight is in you, we may trust that you will definitely fill this desire of our hearts. Yes!

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