Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
“But Mommy, all I want is what I want when I want it,” howled my friend’s three-year-old daughter in the middle of a tantrum. Like little Molly, all I want is “what I want when I want it.” Who doesn’t? But life doesn’t always work that way, does it? Truth is, I’ve had to wait for my most fervent prayers to be answered, sometimes for a very long time.
I’m not a patient person by nature. But I’ve discovered that not getting what I want when I want it is one way God gets me ready for whatever it is I most desire. Waiting gives my character a chance to mature as God prepares me for promotion. When our character doesn’t grow as fast as our calling, look out! Yet I’m tempted to walk away from my dream altogether than wait for it. Why? Because waiting is painful. Grinding. Frustrating. Boring. Out of my control. In short, waiting is hard work.
I became something of an expert in waiting when we wanted children. Each of our three babies required part medical strategy and part miracle to get here. I endured about nine years of infertility treatments, surgeries, drugs, prayers and more prayers. That’s about the length of time it takes to earn a PhD. Whew. By the time we finally had our three children, it felt like I’d earned a doctorate in “wait training.”
Let’s face it. Most of life is spent waiting for something. So it makes sense to find ways to not just survive, but to thrive. during our seasons of “wait training.” Though my years of waiting were often painful, I learned to grow close to the Lord, filling up on His goodness. The Psalmist got it right:
Delight yourself 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 act. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him...(Psalm 37:4,5, 7).
Jesus wants to be first among all our “desires” not just because He is God and He is good. But because He is also enough. I still draw strength from lessons learned during my times of wait training. Mostly, I’ve discovered that the words in the Bible are not just pious platitudes. It is possible to find contentment even before we get the answers we so desire. Then, as a friend of mine so aptly put it, the longing fulfilled becomes a lovely “add on.”
I love this quote from John Piper: “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”