Friday, January 7
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
“What do you want?” My ex-husband asked me this question as our marriage was falling apart. “I want you to do what no man has ever done… I want you to fight for me.” my voice trembled through sobs. Later, as I navigated the challenging and often lonely path of single motherhood, I sensed God was asking me the same question, again and again. “What do you want?” For several years, I didn’t have it in me to answer him. Does it really matter what I want? I wondered. I hid all of my longing and desire behind a heavily recited mantra that sounded really good, “Your will, not mine”. Although surrendering to God’s will is a good thing, it took me a long time to realize that God is not after my passive compliance- He is after my heart. He is not looking for slaves who respond to commands out of obligation and oppressed will, but daughters and sons who respond to Him out of intimacy and relationship. I have heard it said, “Longing is good for you. It’s the echo of miracles to come.” God cares about our dreams. He cares about the longing in our hearts. If we let Him, He uses seasons of waiting to build our faith and draw us closer to Him as we share our longings. Sharing our dreams with God doesn’t mean we get everything we want. He isn’t our personal genie. But the very process of sharing our dreams with God draws us closer to Him. Can you imagine having a best friend or a spouse that never told you about their dreams and desires? I think we would feel pretty disconnected from them and the relationship would seem shallow. The vulnerable practice of sharing our wants and desires deepens our capacity for intimacy with God and with others. As for me, after years of trying to deny the dream of sitting at a dinner table with a family of my own, I finally told God what I wanted. I wanted to be married again. I wanted someone I could share dreams and vision, responsibilities and challenges, laughter, and tears with. The season of waiting continued. In it, God continued a deep healing work in me. He used the waiting to teach me about reciprocal friendships and what true emotional intimacy looks like with safe people. I also grew in my faith that God is, in fact, good. That His character can be trusted. His plans are good. He taught me that the circumstances in my life do not change these facts. He taught me to stand on these truths, even when I didn’t think I saw evidence of them.
Jot down some of the desires of your heart.
What do you want? Throughout scripture, Jesus asks variations of this question of the people he encounters. He is asking you today. Tell Him. He can be trusted with the longings of your heart.
God, teach me how to want again. Repair the parts of me that have been destroyed by disappointment and reignite the flame of desire in the darkest caves of my heart. Amen.
Dreams Redeemed by Harmony Grillo