In His time, he makes all things beautiful
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will grant you the desires of your heart ~Psalms 37:4
This scripture has manifested itself in my life in a most amazing and unexpected way; a way that has taught me a little more about God’s nature, his love for me and his expectations of me.
I have been a study at trying to negotiate with God and to bend his will to match my desires. I have taken Psalms 37:4 and attempted to hold God ransom to it, saying “Lord, you did say that you will grant me the desires of my heart…well, I’m making them known to you”. Slowly, over time in his still, soft voice, he brought me to a simple-yet-profound realisation: the day I gave my life over to him, I traded my will for his. Therefore my heart’s desires must conform to his will for my life and if they do, then I shall ask for nothing in vain.
On the flip side, as long as I keep asking God to match my step, I will be knocking my head against a stone wall and wondering why the blinding headache.
So, dialing back to before I had this epiphany. I had been praying and trusting God for something I desired greatly and I provided my specifications down to the most minute measure -I’m pretty good with detail and I had given it a lot of thought.
I went from excitement (at finally working out a complete spec-set) to hope (now that God knows what I want, he will make it happen) to impatience (I know God’s timing is limitless, but he did put me in this mortal, time-bound body) to frustration (why isn’t he keeping his word?) to despair (Lord, I give up! Do whatever!) to hopelessness (I am done asking) to repentance (forgive me my attitude, Lord)…and the cycle repeated itself. In between, there were occasions for shortlived thanksgiving. Shortlived because I fell for the decoy that matched my wish-list and then consistently failed God’s mettle-test, therefore it had to go.
In a prolonged period of despair, I changed my prayer “Lord, show me what your will is for me; then take my heart’s desires and make them conform to your perfect will for my life”. This was the beginning of a new journey.
It is as though God said ‘Finally, she gets it’. But he didn’t jump to it. He made me wait. He made me wait until in yet another period of despair I prayed: “Lord, if there is something you are trying to teach me while I am in waiting then help me to learn, hasten my understanding, because I want my blessing”.
Again, I think God must have nodded with pleasure and pride. And then he began to teach me, and teach he did. To sum up the lessons, for brevity: the things I set my heart on must be centred on values that match God’s standards, and not on the things that will satisfy my fickle human nature.
In his time, he makes all things beautiful. And he has coloured my world with beauty of a blessing long-awaited. Along the journey, he has taught me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
He has taught me that I cannot take his promises and edit them to suit me. Yes, he will grant me the desires of my heart, but there is a condition –I must delight myself in him.
He has taught me that to delight myself in him is to surrender my will for his perfect purpose and let my heart’s desires conform to his will.
I am still learning, but I have come a good way. And I have been blessed.