Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Delight yourself in The Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Recently, my grandfather texted me saying that prayed that God would give me the desires of my heart. First, I’d like to point out that getting a message saying you’re precious and that someone is praying that God gives you the desires of your heart is one of the best ways to start your day.

Initially it put a smile on my face. And I am I very thankful to have someone who prays that prayer for me. But then the message changed from an encouragement to a mirror. What are my desires anyway? Are they the ones God wants me to have? Hmmm, I don’t desire inherently bad things like ultimate power or taking over the world. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind some shallow things. Like a wardrobe containing everything I’ve lusted over on Modcloth. Or to be graduating college debt free. Or to be in shape without working out. Although id settle for being in shape because I love working out and being outdoorsy.

Of course, not all my desires are shallow. I want to use words to show love and change the world or at a few people. I want to be healthy. I want to get a fabulous job where I can help make the world a better place. I want to marry a man who will romance me like my dad does my mom and Jesus does the church and who helps me show the gospel to a lost and hurting world. I want to have children who love history and knowledge and reading. I want to live in a place with arts.

But ultimately, I want my desires to be God’s desires for me. Because that’s what Psalm 37:4 is about. When you are delighting in The Lord, your desires will be his desires. So for now, my ultimate desire is to delight in The Lord more. I know I’m not where I need to be.

C. S. Lewis once said, “I pray because I need God. The need flows out of me, waking and sleeping. Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

I’ve been praying a lot this past week about the future and my vision of what I want it to be. I committed to praying about this issue everyday for a week. At first my prayer was, “God I really want this.” Then my prayers changed to: “I really want this but I understand if it’s not your will. But I really want this.” Then the prayed changed to: “God, right now I want this. But I don’t want you to give it to me because I keep asking. I want your best for me. I want this to be the best but I understand it might not be. And that’s ok because I want your will in this.”

My prayers don’t need to change God. They needed to change me. My heart needed to be calibrated back to God’s best. Maybe after a few more dad of praying, I’ll be ok with saying completely “Thy will be done Lord.” When I delight in The Lord, my desires change to his and during the process while I still have my selfish desires, I begin to become aware that they aren’t God’s best for me. Psalm 37:4 is so much more than God giving you want you want. It’s about reading on to Psalm 37:5: “commit your way to The Lord and do good; trust in him and he will do this.”

I am so thankful for a God who will give me what I want when I begin to want the best for me. Just like your parents wouldn’t let you play with matches as a kid, God won’t give you things you want that will burn you (uselessly). I am so thankful for grandparents who are prayer warriors committed to my future and inspiring me to examine my inner self… Never a fun thing.

I hope you read this and begin to let the self examination slowly begin. Stand in front of the mirror and honestly examine yourself. Be brave enough to admit the truth if you aren’t delighting in The Lord and his best for you. Then go out and do something about it.

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I am afraid

“The gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, twenty-one urge us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart” or “be of good cheer.” The second most common command, to love God and neighbor, appears on only eight occasions. If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fear seriously.”

Max Lucado, Fearless

I read somewhere that you need to write about what hurts because that’s what matters. So here goes nothing:

I am afraid of geese and drains in parking lots. 

Bad storms still have the ability to turn me into a five year old hiding her head in the couch like an ostrich in the sand.

Some days, I’m still that quiet, insecure fourteen year old afraid that nobody really cares if she’s here or not. 

My biggest fear though?

Gonna have to say “What is the future for $1000, Alex”

Not knowing where I’m gonna be, what i’ll be doing, or who I’ll be with in two years, well frankly, that kinda terrifies me at times. The issue of who I will marry has been a struggle for me for a while. But I really wasn’t too concerned from March until a week or so ago. Y’all, I really rocked the contented, in love with Christ only thing this summer. Then I got back to the real world. Now I struggle to love Christ enthusiastically. I worry that I’ll give in and settle for the American dream and not live a life that matters. I worry I’ll either be too scared to move away when I graduate and I’ll marry a man who wants to stay in meridian his whole life or that I’ll never find someone to change my last name for. 

But as I just read in Psalms 34, the Lord never withholds good from those who seek him. So I know I can trust him to give me exactly what I need, at exactly the right time. He is never late or early. So that’s me a little scaredy cat. In spite of all that I know I am loved and protected by Christ and his undying love for me.