The other day in our Donation Center, I ran across a toy that I remembered from my childhood. I specifically remember this thing, not because I loved it or because of the good memories attached. I remembered it because it sucked.
I’ve since learned that the official name for this toy is called a shape sorter.
I don’t know if you instantly know what I’m talking about or not, but it is a multicolored plastic contraption with about 10 different shaped holes in it- a star, a heart, a square, a dodecahedron. (Use your stems for that one!)
Now, I am convinced that there are two types of people in this world- those who loved the shape sorter, and those who like me, hated it.
I’m sure my soon to be engineer sister loved it- a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
The problem, in my mind, with this ‘toy’ (if you can even call it that) was that you sat here wasting all of this time searching through ten colored plastic shapes that were all different, trying to find the ones that fit the holes perfect. What a waste of time! Who cares if they all fit? Or matched? I hated this toy.
Why wasn’t there one big hole that they could all fit in? I wanted to turn the star on its side and see if it would go through the heart hole. I did not want to follow the instructions or the rules (shocker!) or wait to figure out which ones fit right.
Years later, how often do we do this in our lives?
Trying to make what WE want fit into God’s plan for us right now? Trying to take our idea of what’s good for us right now and pushing OUR agenda on Him.
I know I do. All the time.
In scripture, Psalm 37:4 reads, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Sometimes, we take that to mean “ask for whatever you want and God will grant your wish like the Fairy Godmother”. We pray for a specific job that we think would benefit us, or the results of a test to be in our best interest, or that a child will make the choice that we think is best for them. And sometimes it feels like that works. God grants our heart’s desires and we’re happy. We praise Him. We thank Him.
But sometimes He doesn’t.
Sometimes what we want or think is best for us right now doesn’t happen. The deal falls through, the house doesn’t sell, the relationship ends.
What about those times?
We aren’t so quick to praise or to thank Him when our idea doesn’t match up or fit with His. When we’re hoping for the square and God sends the star.
See, this is a two fold suggestion in Psalm 37. ‘Take delight in the Lord’ is the first part. When you delight in the Lord, you surrender to His will, His agenda. You praise and rejoice in Him and His sovereignty. You submit to His ways.
When we do the first part, we are rewarded with the second part. ‘He will give you the desires of your heart’. When we submit our lives and turn these decisions over to the Most High, we will always be fulfilled. If the desires of our heart are not in accordance with His plan, he will even change your heart’s desires. I know- because I’ve watched it happen in my own life.
We serve a promise maker and a promise keeper. When you want the Lord’s will for you over your own will for you, He will keep His promise and fulfill the desires of your heart. Because when your heart is in line with His, there is no room for mismatch.
It’s a perfect fit.
So instead of focusing on the desires of your own heart today, let’s focus on taking delight in the Lord. Surrender your own life, your career, your marriage, your children, your financial situation, your household, and everything in between to the King of Kings today. Instead of praying for your choice of careers, or your choice of houses to buy, praise Him for His agenda for you right now, and in the days to come. Delight in His promises, in His gifts of grace, and of abundance that He so freely gives us.
Then, whether you are given a star, a circle, a heart, or even a dodecahedron, you will be ready to receive it. And guess what?
It will be a perfect fit.