My dog friend, Katie, went back to her own home two days ago. What a great week we had together. Before she left, Father gave me another reminder of a vital truth to make our Christian walk sweeter each day.
It began with a pill. Katie, because of her arthritis and joint pain, has to take two tablets a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. She’s actually very good about it, and doesn’t put up a fight as I might do if someone began to poke a pill down my throat. It’s all a quick procedure. However, when she sees me coming, she does her alligator impression of clamping her teeth shut. When I win and open her little alligator mouth, down goes the pill and that’s that. She instantly looks at me with smiling eyes, nub of tail trying to wag what’s not there, and her whole back end swaying from side to side in delight at my praise of what a good dog she’s been for taking her pill. We repeat this twice a day.
This daily procedure brought to my mind the verse in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse and the passage where it’s found should be a great joy to every Christian, but too often it’s a disappointment. That’s because we don’t really understand it. We look at it with physical eyes and try to give it physical explanation. We tell ourselves that we’ll live right before God, and then He’ll give us our heart’s desire, perhaps of needed finance, or improved health, or a job, or a list of anything we need in our physical world at present. When things don’t go to plan as we had hoped, we live in the disappointment of God not giving us our heart’s desire.
Katie’s desire was to do without her daily pill. Her whole body and alligator teeth clenching, let me know that in no uncertain terms. She’s a sweet little dog that I love dearly, but she was going to get that pill, no matter her own desires were different. She doesn’t know what the pills are for and how they give her better leg movement so she can walk and play with less pain, but I know it. Therefore, in her best interests, down goes the pill day after day.
It’s the same in our spiritual world. There are many difficulties and challenges to face in our physical worlds. We desire they go away. We don’t want to deal with them. Perhaps we don’t even know how to deal with them but we come up with a plan that seems right to us, so we look at this verse and pray to Father to give us the desires of our heart.
I want to suggest that if we look at this verse with spiritual eyesight rather than physical we will certainly gain a beautiful understanding that will bring much joy. To delight ourselves in God isn’t to put on some good behavior for the purpose of getting what we want; to delight ourselves in God is an implication to be delighted with God. David wrote in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord.”
This is the key: When our desires are to know Father more intimately, then we naturally begin to take hold of all His characteristics: His own strength, His own courage, His own wisdom, His own joy – to face any “pill” episodes in our own lives. After all, we know Father never allows anything to come into our lives that we can’t bear. He promised to never leave us, and He promised to give us everything of Himself to get through anything.
Is there a pill that Father says you must swallow? A situation you can’t get out of? A direction you’re uncertain of, filling your thoughts with fear of the unknown? I encourage you – don’t concentrate on the pill – concentrate on the pill-giver and trust Him. He loves you. He knows what He is doing in your life and it’s always in your own best interests. The bigger the difficulty in life, the more we need to meditate on Father Himself and all His loveliness and of His love for us.
When our desires are for more of Him, we get just that – more of Him, to face and get through whatever today holds.