Sunday, January 24, 2010

Even Better

Last summer my oldest daughter asked for a specific ring for her birthday. We thought a ring was a good idea, but thought the one she was asking for was a bit much for a girl her age. We shopped a bit and found one we thought was just right. On her birthday we woke her in the morning with the sweetest little ribboned mauve box--sure to delight a feminine heart. As wakefulness dawned, her face lit up with joy and she seized the box and opened it. She paused and I knew she was feeling a moment of disappointment as she realized it wasn't the exact ring for which she had asked. Then she smiled and burst out, "I like it!! It's even better than what I thought I wanted!"

"It's even better than what I thought I wanted."

That phrase captured something in my heart. I knew as soon as she said it that I've discovered the very same thing so many times with gifts from my heavenly Papa. As finite humans, we're all acquainted with longing and impatience in waiting. We're probably all equally well-acquainted with attempting to gain what God has promised through our own conniving rather than waiting for His timing. We quickly learn as Abraham did (Genesis 16) that this never works out quite as well as waiting for Him to do things in His time and His way.

Psalm 37:4-5 & 7a says,
"Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you... Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait for him to act."

How do we take delight in the Lord? I'm pretty sure it's impossible to do if you view Him as a stern judge or an angry father. King David, who wrote this Psalm, had a friendship with God. In fact, when you read David's psalms you find out exactly how to delight in Him. "To delight in" means to "take pleasure in". David writes about God's attributes and all the amazing things He has done. It's obvious when he (David) does this that he's delighting in who God is and that it lifts his spirits when he is discouraged. When we focus on God like this it becomes easier to wait for Him to give us the desires of our heart because our minds are filled with His greatness and we are reminded that we don't need to worry about whether or not He has things under control.

I'd like to encourage you to put God to the challenge in this. Do you have a heart's desire whose fulfillment seems distant? Delight yourself in Him...commit it to still...and wait. I put this challenge to my Sunday school class one year and at the end of the year we had some amazing testimonies. In fact, a lot of them sounded like, "It's even better than what I thought I wanted!"

If you don't know where to begin in delighting yourself in the Lord, just borrow some of David's psalms--that's why they're recorded for us. Consistent worship like this will be the seed for your own private psalms of delight as you worship God for all his good gifts and confess (speak of) your confidence in His ability to take care of the things you've committed to Him.

"Don't worry about anything; instead,
pray about everything.
Tell God what you need and
thank Him for all He has done.
If you do this, you will experience God's peace,
which is far more wonderful
than the human mind can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6&7


  1. Thank you again, Michelle! I was particularly struck by this part of the Psalms you posted: "Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait for him to act." Wow. That is definitely something I need to do! I'm in such a hurry to GO and help; this is a reminder to surrender everything to God and be STILL!

  2. Ditto what Hillary said! I might even copy that part of that Psalm down and stick it somewhere I can see it every day.

  3. :) Thank you, Michelle. I am thankful that God knows what He wants to give me even when I don't know what I want.