The Desires of Our Hearts

I love it when I God catches me by surprise and speaks something randomly into my heart. Not audibly, of course. It's that still small voice we believers recognize as the Holy Spirit prompting our thoughts. This happened to me yesterday as I shared the cliff notes to my past and all that God has done for me in the last decade.

I was explaining to someone how I felt in an abusive marriage. I didn't have any hope of an emotionally fulfilling relationship. I was just trying to make it the best it could be and count my blessings instead of focusing on my hardships. I think I was pretty successful at that, since I endured 27 years of abuse. But when I'd feel very low and discouraged, I would remind myself that God was equipping me through suffering to help someone else "down the road."

I was so aware that those who have suffered themselves have the most to offer to another hurting person. I can go back in my mind, to spots in different homes, and visualize where I cried and thought of Romans 8:28 and sincerely told the Lord, "If the only good thing that comes from all this is that I can help someone else later on because I really understand, that will be enough for me." And I truly meant it from my heart.

As I was expressing that to someone yesterday, it was like someone whispered inside my head, "And He will give you the desires of your heart (which I recognized as Scripture). I gave you the desire of your heart." I couldn't remember the entire passage. But I had the feeling at that moment that He was telling me this was a desire that was aligned with His will for me. Not that I was being rewarded for being "good." Just that I was in His will to desire someone else's good through my suffering and everything that was happening now was tied to that desire.

This morning I looked up the passage in Psalm 37:3-5 and read the fuller context...

Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.…

When I read it, I saw myself during those years. I did not have that Scripture in mind as I prayed that way. But, in essence, I see now that I was dwelling in the land and cultivating faithfulness to the Lord. I was committing my way to Him and I was trusting Him even though I so often felt "slayed" by my circumstances.

I can't say that every desire of my heart has been in accordance with God's will or even pleasing to Him, for that matter. But the desires that have been aligned with His Word, I have received.

When I was saying that to God all those many years ago, I never had the slightest idea that I would do more than help a few friends get through difficult circumstances. But God has redeemed my suffering in much greater ways than I even hoped for. God gave me the ability to write and He's given me opportunities to share my testimony with others. He brought me to a community where I've been able to use my influence and abilities to raise awareness and money for the fight against domestic violence. I've been blessed with so many opportunities to connect with others through shared experiences, trials and triumphs.

So many times our desires are for ourselves rather than for others. And God does not promise to grant all our selfish desires. But I believe He longs to grant the desire of our hearts when the desires of our hearts are aligned with His plan and His love for humanity.

I felt compelled to blog about this. If you are going through hard times right now and struggling to imagine how God will bring anything good out of what you're suffering, hold onto the promise of Romans 8:28.

He will do it.

Comments

Well written Shari my friend.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4
Shari said…
Thank you Barry, my friend!

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