Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4
Trust. Do good. Delight yourself. Desire.
What does it mean to trust the Lord? What does it mean to do good? What does it mean to delight yourself in the LORD? What ARE the desires of our heart? These two verses are worthy of much meditation and prayer and yet, it’s so easy to read through it quickly and miss the rich blessing within.
I don’t trust people who aren’t trustworthy. To do so is unwise. But this verse tells us—commands us—to trust God. Has He ever proved Himself not worthy of trust? Not in my life. Yes, He has allowed me to walk through hot fires and deep waters but I have come through by His hand of protection and deliverance. And I have come through stronger. That’s a good and capable God—one who can make you stronger through threats of destruction. Yes, God is worthy of my trust.
So, if God is worthy of my trust and He tells me to do good, it must be for good reason. But what is “good”? We humans all have differing definitions.
God tells us that His word is good—His precepts—His commands. Indeed, when I keep them, I dwell in peace. When I don’t, I suffer painful consequences sooner or later.
If I trust God, I will trust His way of living and live His way with the promise of dwelling in my days, enjoying “safe pasture”. But what about times where I don’t feel at peace and I’m fearful and not in “safe pasture”? What then?
Actually, if I think God’s protective hand has been withdrawn from me, I’m in error. Perceptions and reality can be vastly differing. I am growing to trust God and His word regardless of how my circumstances appear.
When you’ve come through so many “Red Sea” experiences like I have, you come to know well this God who is trust-worthy. I’ve come to know that, regardless of what God permits—regardless of how I feel in the moment—good is always on God’s mind. And there are so many things in life beyond our ability to understand. So we must trust.
When I trust, my heart is no longer agitated. I can rest in peace and enjoy whatever “pasture” God takes me into knowing that whatever “grasses” He allows me to consume will be for my benefit and all those around me. Is there anything more delightful that being able to trust in the goodness—the absolute goodness of God—regardless of circumstances?
When we trust God so completely, we find that HE is the desire of our heart more than anything else we could ever imagine Him GIVING us. In Psalm 27, David gets it. David understands—
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? (v. 1)
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (v. 4)
There is nothing like gazing upon the LORD, no matter where we find ourselves. Even when Stephen was being stoned, his gaze turned heavenward and God provided Him a vision of His beauty that sustained him to the end.
If God be for us, who shall be against us?
Even in the most dire of flesh situations, God is there for those who seek—for those who want to see.
The flesh may howl, but the spirit can soar.
Yes, this victory of spirit over flesh CAN be accomplished here on earth because Jesus paved the way. He won the battle on the cross. He released us then and there and gave us all access to such power. If only we would take hold of it! If only we would set our gaze upon Jesus and not look down at the turbulent waters of life, as did Peter, we would walk on water!
Yes, this is how I want to live. I want to gaze upon the beauty of Christ all through my days and learn not to distract myself.
Hold steady! When the fierce winds blow. Hold steady!
Hold steady! When the waves wash over. Hold steady!
Hold steady! When the fires burn hot. Hold steady!
Jesus is there. Keep your gaze on Jesus, the all-Beautiful, the all-Powerful, the all-sufficient Overcomer who has hold of you!
When I see His face—and I can, in my heart—I want nothing more. Nothing more fills like His glory. His glory completes.
Yesterday, I received two wild gifts from God.
Not only did He direct one Rose-breasted Grosbeak to our feeder—He directed FIVE at the SAME TIME! Four males and one female. You should have seen me! I was like a little kid at Christmas, jumping up and down and squealing in childish delight. He knows how I love this bird. He saw how excited I got when I saw the first grosbeak of spring that morning—the one and only grosbeak. Wouldn’t it be just like God to want to bless our socks off? How crazy is that—that God would send FIVE grosbeaks at the same time to give me giddy joy! I could hardly tear myself away from the window.
And then, as if that weren’t enough . . .
I have been praying about something I think is my heart’s desire. When I say “I think”, I mean it. I know longer trust that what I “think” is my heart’s desire is really my heart’s desire. I now know that only God knows my true heart’s desire—and above all—He IS our true heart’s desire, whether we know it or not. So, I have been praying for this thing, asking God to give it if He wills and NOT to give it if He doesn’t.
Yesterday, I received an email congratulating me for being accepted into a workshop for nine writers. This isn’t just any workshop. This is something that made my heart nearly jump out of my chest when I discovered it. The workshop is being led by Leslie Leyland Fields—an author and editor of several books as well as for Christianity Today. And get this! The workshop is on her summer island off the coast of Alaska where her family does commercial fishing! And get this! She will be joined by a published fiction writer AND a professional wildlife photographer for those who want to improve their wildlife photography skills! How wild is that?!
Oh my! I’m starting to shake and sweat again! Whew! Settle down, girl, and keep typing!
I truly was expecting to open a rejection letter because, after all . . .
Who am I? I’m just a blogger. I’ve never published a thing. I’ve never even talked to a published author, let alone be taught by one.
Who is God? It’s not for me to set limits on God. It’s up to God to lead me into whatever pasture He wants, for whatever purpose He wants. All I know is this . . .
My delight truly is in the LORD. He IS the desire of my heart. And He has already given me His heart—every single bit of it in Jesus.
Anything else He gives me is extra wild and crazy, over-the-top, abundant blessing.
Alaska—here I come! God—I can’t WAIT to travel with You there—to learn of You—to keep on walking with you through all my days—however many left you have ordained for this one little pilgrim.
And thanks again for the Rose-breasted grosbeaks!