Delightful Gifts (Psalm 37:4)

Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

I’ve heard people use verses like this one to support all manner of selfish thinking. We, as people, want to find some way to reduce God to a genie who pops up when we call and gives us what we want. We crave all of the blessing, but want none of the burden. Worse, we want what we want and are heedless of what God wills for us.

This verse speaks something different, I think. I don’t think the semicolon is necessary in this verse. I think that it could and probably should read Delight yourself in the LORD / And He will give you the desires of your heart. Why is that important? Because it is more of a cause and effect statement this way. What I do is delight myself in the LORD. What God does is give me the desires of my heart. Simple enough, but there are implications to delighting in someone. When I am delighted in my wife, I want more of her — more of her thoughts and more of her presence, more of her touch and more of her laughter. Everything that is part and parcel of her is what I want. The implication of delighting in the LORD is that what I want will be more of Him. I will want more of His insights and more of His presence, more of His guidance and more of His pleasure with me.

If what I want is more and more of the LORD, then He is more than happy to give me the delightful gifts of Himself and all that comes with Him — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Being delighted in the LORD is a prerequisite, I think, for Him giving me the desires of my heart. Once my heart desires Him and what He wants, then there is no conflict. He can freely lavish on me what I want, because what I then want is Himself.

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday. It was a modest day for me. No fanfare or huge party and I didn’t really want one. I was well content to work and come home to my wife and daughter and enjoy the delightful gifts of them. My daughter came over and wanted “UP” as soon as I walked in the door. Her favorite place is in mommy or daddy’s arms. I know it will pass and I relish it for now. My wife had done several things to make the day special. And all of those things are part and parcel of who she is. I received gifts from her, yes, but I received the more delightful gift of being reminded of her love in ways small and large. Those gifts given me by my wife and daughter are echoes of the delightful gifts my Father wants to give me and would like for me to give Him. My daughter is an example of simple delight in a person. My wife looks to give me the good desires of my heart (she knows there are bad ones in there and she does her best to help me discourage them).

Today, I need to give God the delightful gift of simple delight in Him. Let me seek to be taken “UP” into my Father’s arms as my daughter so often does with me. A simple, delightful gift that warms the Father’s heart. Let me want Him so that He can give me what I want without reservation or limit.

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