Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give to you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this. Psalm 37:4-5
Last weekend, I had the privilege of hearing Beth Moore's teaching via simulcast on Psalm 37, focusing on verses 1-9, and especially on verse 4. The words we studied were familiar and well-known to me, yet God spoke them freshly into my heart. As I've reflected on her teachings, the Lord has repeatedly brought two beautiful examples of the living out of these verses to my mind. They are totally unrelated, yet both of them speak profoundly of God's faithfulness in bringing about His best for us.
On August 22, Andrew and Meagan became husband and wife. The wedding was gorgeous, the families were thrilled, and the service honored God. But as I watched Andrew waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle, I saw even more than just that moment. I saw the years of waiting and preparation all coming to fulfillment. You see, Andrew had been part of the college bible study group that Ken & I lead at our church. One summer night, about 8 or 9 years ago, we were wrapping up a study in our home on relationships. The normally quiet and reserved Andrew decided to speak up, and I'll never forget what he said. Very calmly and assuredly, he said, "I really don't understand why people get so worked up and bent out of shape about this. We don't need to be looking for relationships before we're looking for God. The way I see it, if I am following the Lord and on the path He has for me, then He will bring the right person along that path with me at the right time. I don't need to worry about it!" This handsome young man--who could've dated just about anyone he wanted--went on to basically say that he was done with dating for dating's sake, and that he was going to wait on God to bring someone to him. He said that he was confident that when God brought him the right person, he would know it. And he did!
As Meagan made her way down the aisle, I thought about her obedience to the Lord to pursue a nursing degree, even after she had already completed one 4-year degree. She followed God's leading, moved to Columbia, went to USC, and began serving the Lord at First Baptist. She, too, was simply serving the Lord and walking on the path He had laid out for her. It was there that she met Emily Ann, Andrew's sister, who in turn introduced her to Andrew. The rest, as they say, is history!
These two Christ-followers are perfect complements to one another, and beautiful people inside and out. Their marriage is truly designed and ordained by God, and they will be used by Him greatly. Andrew is now a pastor of a new church, and Meagan is fully equipped to work alongside him in this ministry as they establish their family.
What if they hadn't waited? What if they had settled for less than God's best? Instead, they each delighted in the Lord, and God himself gave them their hearts' desires. What a beautiful thing to watch unfold!
Another situation where I have had the joy of watching God's plans as they developed is with my dear friend, Ashley. Like many full-time moms, now that her children are both in school, she had begun to look for something to do with her days. She is an amazing mother, wife, friend, and homemaker, but she felt God telling her it was time for something new.
If you met Ashley, you would be impressed with her flair for decorating, style, coordinating colors, and detail. She always sends notes on the perfect card, adds just the right tag to a gift, and puts just the right touch on packages. For a long time now, she has felt God was leading her to do something with this "knack" of hers.
Several months ago, Ashley was presented wtih the opportunity to buy a business dealing with notecards, invitations, enclosure cards, and all sorts of stationery. It was right up her alley, and on the surface, seemed like the perfect thing, so she excitedly began to pursue it. As she and her husband prayed about it, though, neither of them had peace. Nothing drastic happened to tell them "NO", but in their hearts, they felt God was telling them to wait.
I clearly remember the day that Ashley told me she had passed on buying the business. She had such a desire to be in that very line of work, yet she had chosen to trust God and to let it go. I could see the mixed emotions in her eyes and hear the disappointment in her voice, but most of all, her trust in God and His timing was evident.
Over these last months, Ashley has continued to pray about what God would have her do, and she has waited and trusted. At times, she admitted to frustration and wishing she could know what God was going to do. Her honesty was refreshing, because it is how we all feel when we are waiting on those heart's desires.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, Ashley got a huge surprise! Through connections that only God Himself could have made, she literally stumbled upon a new opportunity in the same line of business, but with a far lower initial investment than the business she let pass, along with a much simpler structure and greater business support. Within the first few minutes of looking into the business, the Lord assured Ashley and her husband that this was His plan, and that He had brought it directly to her. As of next week, "Paper Treats" will be open for business!
Again, what if she hadn't waited? What if she had moved forward, knowing that God had not given her the full go-ahead? She would've spent money she didn't need to, she would've beaten herself up when this new opportunity came her way, and she wouldn't have received God's fullest blessings on her life.
Whatever it is that our hearts desire, I pray that we will commit our way to the Lord, trust in HIM, and let HIM do it!!! It will always be for our best when we do!