I turned the page on a calendar in my house and the verse for the new month was Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Like most people I expect, I like that verse – especially the second part about God giving me the desires of my heart. I need to remember the first part of the verse, though. If I delight in the Lord it will affect my desires. It’s hard to imagine that I’ll be desiring selfish, temporal things if I’m delighting in the eternal joy of knowing Jesus and belonging to Him.
After being reminded of the promise that God will give the desires of our heart when we’re delighting in Him, then I read Jeremiah 29:11 where the Lord promises that He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This sounds great and it fits well with God saying He’ll give the desires of our heart. The Lord has good and gracious plans to give me the desires of my heart when those desires flow out of delighting in Him.
In the midst of all these encouraging promises I read Jeremiah 29:10: “This is what the Lord says, ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.’” Seventy years! That sounds like an awfully long time. I like to hear that the desires of my heart will be given. I like to hear of God’s good plans for me. But I’m not so thrilled to hear that when God first gave the promise of good plans for hope and a future, He said it would be seventy years till the promise was completely fulfilled.
I want my desires met now. I want to know now the nature of God’s good plans for me and I don’t want to wait seventy years for them to be fulfilled. But so often the call of Scripture is to wait. Soon after the promise is given that God will give the desires of our heart the call is given to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7).
At a crosswalk I often use there is a button you press to get the signal to change to walk. I really don’t think constant pressing of the button causes the light to change faster, but that doesn’t stop some from pounding away at it. It’s hard to wait, even for the brief time it takes for the signal to change.
It’s hard to wait patiently for our desires to be met. We’re tempted to “pound away” and try to do something to speed up the process. Often, instead of pounding away and trying to make things happen on our schedule, we need to be still and wait on the Lord.
God operates on His own schedule, which is always the best schedule. He is the eternal God. Even seventy years, which is a lifetime to us, is just a brief moment to Him.
What helps us to wait patiently is remembering the nature of God. The Lord is good and He faithfully keeps His Word. At the best time and in ways better than we can even imagine, God’s good plans will become reality and He will give us the desires of our heart.