Psalm 37:4—Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
During my college years, I knew a girl who often put this verse as her IM away message (when AIM was the dominant collegiate network). This girl was crazy intelligent, fun, a gifted leader, the kind of girl people wanted to be around. She was the student leader of her college’s Baptist ministry that was 200-strong. One of the desires of her heart was a God-fearing, God-loving, Bible-reading man with whom she could be equally yoked in life, marriage, and ministry. She thought she’d found him.
Unfortunately for her, the man she’d found was the God-fearing, God-loving, Bible-reading man who was going to be my partner in life, marriage, and ministry. She didn’t know that yet. Neither did he. (Well, he had known, but he forgot for about a year…)
One of the things people seem surprised to learn about me is how competitive I am. I’m not sure why that is. I think people who strive for grades, awards, and recognition like I do are often competitive. A few years ago, my boss told me that I was the most competitive female he’d ever known. My response was, “That’s because you don’t know my twin sister.” We’re both competitive, and that’s what has often brought us success. Put two competitive, type A girls in a house, school, dance class, cheering squad, and college dorm together for twenty years, and you end up with college GPA’s of 4.0 and 3.98 respectively and a long list of accolades.
So, when this godly collegiate woman was delighting herself in the Lord thinking he was giving her the desire of her heart in the form of Sammy Frame, she had no idea that she was wrong, or who she was up against.
I did not have the strong background of faithfully following God that this girl had. I was kind of new at the whole personal relationship with Jesus thing, much less the ministry thing. But I was seeking God like I’d never sought Him before. And I knew Sammy Frame. I knew how to make his sweet tea, his homemade sugar cookies, and my mom’s chocolate chip pie. The other girl knew how to make pizza. I knew how to shower him with sappy, heartfelt, meaningful words, because that’s his love language. I knew how to drive to his college on weekends, dropping everything I was doing to be with him, because that matters to him. I also knew how to make him droul, but seeing as how I was seeking God at this point in my life, I couldn’t rely on those finely-tuned skills.
The three of us ended up in a spiritual battle, each seeking God’s direction and guidance. It was a heart-wrenching endeavor for all of us. I think we all cried lots of tears, prayed lots of prayers, and sought wise counsel. I may have gotten a little catty once or twice. But largely, we were all reading Scripture, praying, and having the “define the relationship” talks with hearts that sought God. We all desired a mate who would grow and enhance our faith and our ministries. We all eventually saw that desire fulfilled. She’s now married, and I have no doubt the man’s a spiritual giant, because that’s what she deserves, and she wouldn’t have settled.
Now, when I read this verse, all of these memories come back. Through it, I learned that if one delights in the Lord, she will receive the desires of her heart. Sometimes that delivery looks just like she expects—as was my experience. Sometimes that delivery takes longer and doesn’t look like she expects—as was her experience. I hope that when I’m the one who needs to be open to a package delivered in a different time and a different way, I’m open to that and remain faithful to God throughout the process.