The Promise

What are the desires of your heart?

In the stillness of the morning hours I had been reading familiar words from Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I had to stop. Did I really understand what was being said?

Without question, my delight is in my Lord. I could not endure a day, enjoy a sunrise, accomplish a task or lay down to sleep in peace without Jesus.  How did that translate into fulfilling the desires of my heart?  Certainly God had granted some, but others ~ precious to me ~ had been denied. So what deeper meaning did this Psalm hold and would I take God at His Word?

I waited quietly in the Scripture with a lingering question for the lost desires of my heart seemed to counter the promise. Within 13 months of each other, my son and husband departed this earth, both unexpectedly. Certainly this was far from what my heart desired. There had to be more to this promise than could be gained from a casual reading. As I sought Him, that still small voice came to my soul, impressing a reverence to my thoughts. “Child of mine, is your vision so small?  Do you think that loss, including the grave, denies you the desire of your heart in my time? You are bound by earthly comprehension. I am bound by nothing and the trust you have put in Me will be fulfilled in the scope of eternity. I have your loved ones in my keeping. I also have you. There is purpose in their departing and your remaining. Lean on Me and I will give you desires that are in line with my will. Trust and wait. All things will be revealed at the appointed time and you will come to see how tenderly and faithfully I worked to fulfill your greatest needs.”  I was overcome by a sense of His Presence and the issue was settled.

It sent my thoughts to another time and another place. Jesus, languishing on the cross of Calvary, uttered a piercing question; “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?”   The agony of this momentary separation, when God the Father allowed God the Son to bear the full wrath of sin, became crushing and Jesus cried out. In that dark hour, the deepest need of all was being met for the sake of mankind; though obscured by suffering’s depth. It’s dominance had only temporary power, for when all had been accomplished and His work was finished, the most glorious promise of all dawned upon the world.

Can you hold to that truth when the desires of your heart seem denied? It’s a critical question that has been answered with Easter’s message and each of us must address it for ourselves. Will we trust Him?  The response will determine the course we take when faith comes to a crossroad.  Either bitterness will attend our way or peace will comfort our hearts.  The first comes when we place confidence in our own understanding.  The second comes when we trust the One who carried our greatest need to the cross.  His sacrifice became our sanctification, restoring the relationship of people unholy from sin and giving them right standing before God.  The Resurrection of Christ fulfills the deepest desire our hearts ~ the assurance that we will pass from death to new life.

Faith in the Resurrected Christ sustains us in our struggles, comfort us in our sorrows and assures us that hope is more than a word. God is greater than we can comprehend and life is more than we know. His love enables us to endure hardships and unanswered questions with strength beyond our own, for He will accomplish abundantly more than all we can ask or imagine.

The promise is true; the timing is His. Easter proclaims it!


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