“Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of your heart”
I think this verse is one of the most mistaken verses in the Bible. A lot of people hear this and think, “Oh, if I just pray and try not to sin and worship God, then He’ll give me everything I want, right? Like that high paying job I’ve worked my whole life for? And a beautiful wife and family? And that Corvette?”
Well, those may be the desires of your heart, but God isn’t necessarily going to give them to you if you just go to church on Sunday and don’t curse as much as your next door neighbor.
The point of this verse is that if you delight yourself in the Lord, then those won’t be the desires of your heart anymore. God is such an all-powerful being, described often as the “living water” which will “quench your eternal thirst.”
Have you ever thought about how thirst can refer to something other than a necessary liquid to sustain your physical body? We all thirst after things, some physical and some intangible. Like that Corvette you always stare at when it drives through your neighborhood. You thirst after that. And yes, that’s a harmless thing to thirst after, but there are much more dangerous things (which I won’t go into now).
We all want something more out of life. I haven’t met anyone who’s ever completely content with their situation. This is why God calls us thirsty, because we are, thirsty for something MORE.
In my recent situation, I was thirsty for success. Most recently, I started skating again because I wanted that feeling of finishing a clean program at Nationals and feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I thought that if I trained hard enough, I could do it. I didn’t need God to help me, I didn’t even think about that verse above. I was depending entirely on myself and utterly neglecting God.
Well, just how the story goes, I injured myself and can’t compete at the competition I spent the entire summer training for. The entire summer, neglecting my friends, not working (aka making money to spend at college), and putting my faith entirely in myself.
I was heartbroken that I got hurt. It completely wipes out everything that I did this summer. All of my training, all of the long drives I took, all of the wear and tear I put on my body, none of that mattered anymore. And, because I can’t skate for four months now, and because I’m getting too old as far as figure skaters go, I don’t think I’m going to compete again. And that’s just something I have to accept.
I was also pretty angry at God for this. “Why did you let me get this far and then take it away? Why did you give me this huge passion for skating and working hard and not let me use it?”
That’s when I was cleaning my room and saw this verse on a graduation gift I got. And it all clicked. I didn’t delight myself in the Lord, I delighted myself in myself. When you put your entire faith and trust in yourself, it won’t work. Not when we all so blatantly need sooooo much help.
However, I don’t have the mindset that if I just pray more, then I can compete again. No, I don’t think that’s in the cards for me. But I do believe that if I pray more, worship more, believe God more, then He will quench my thirst, those desires I hold in my heart. And that, in itself, is such an amazing and reassuring feeling.