c.s. lewis, matthew henry and father tim...

Monday, November 1, 2010

this has always been a hard verse for me to swallow.  maybe because i've tried to delight myself in Him, and i've still been disappointed. 

that could be it.

it would make sense.

so when the whole of psalm 37 began to be impressed upon my heart a month ago, i found myself pouring over every single verse.  except for that one. 

but, scripture is to be taken in as a whole and as a begger coming to the Word of God hungry, i can't be a chooser.  so i began to read all the verses.  including vs. 4.  and i began to notice something...

vs. 3 states:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

which leads into vs. 4:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

which ends in vs. 5 with:
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and He will act.

i've never found it easy to trust Jesus.  trusting in Him has been simple, but trusting Him with my life, with my heart, with my circumstances has always been a stopping point for me. 

"only this far, Jesus.  that's about all you can have.  but my wants, my hopes, my dreams...those are mine to guard."

then, as tony and i were driving home in the dark quiet last night with little ones snoring behind us, i began to share what i've been learning.

maybe you've learned it already and this will seem somewhat silly...but, i'm willing to risk that for the one person that may need to read this.

you can't delight yourself in someone until you can trust them.

which led me to the question, "how?".  i always want the steps.  i want to know that i'm doing the "how" correctly.

i was in the library the other day and grabbed this book off the shelf.  lost in father tim's quotes, c.s. lewis jumped out and pulled back the curtain a little to shed some light on my question...

~the christian way is different; harder, and easier.  Christ says, "give Me All.  I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you...no half-measures are any good.  I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down...hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked--the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead.  i will give you Myself; My own will shall become yours.~  the joyful christian

i had heard it before, but i think it needed to be repeated.  the desires that He wants to fulfill in my life aren't the desires that will bring me what i want.  when i trust Him, when i learn from Him that He is true and faithful to His Word, my heart delights in the wonder of Who He is; trust becomes easier to cling to and as i hand Him my very human heart, He lovingly takes it and fills it up with His good plans. plans and desires that maybe weren't the ones i had envisioned for my life, but plans that aren't meant to harm.  plans that bring hope, a future, the life that He has planned for me all along...and i find myself wanting more than anything else to see Him fulfill His very plans through me.

this morning, as i was reading through psalm 37 for what has felt like the hundredth time, i decided to see what matthew henry had to say about the third step of committing my path to my Lord.  after reading it, i can think of no better way to end this somewhat random post with his words:

What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and serve God. Commit thy way unto the Lord; roll thy way upon the Lord, so the margin reads it. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, the burden of thy care. We must roll it off ourselves, not afflict and perplex ourselves with thoughts about future events, but refer them to God. By prayer spread thy case and all thy cares before the Lord, and trust in him. We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise is very sweet: He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is, which thou has committed to him.

and did you notice it?  i just did and i can't help but smile at the tenderness of Jesus.  He knows me, He knows you so intimately.  He knows that trusting Him wouldn't come naturally. and so after the command to commit, He gently nudges, sweetly reminds...

"and trust...".

and for some maybe not-so-strange reason, my heart knows that it can...