After I safely secured my son in his carseat, we headed out for “boys night out.” He had no idea where we were going or what we were doing, but he knew it was supposed to be a night filled with fun and excitement. An hour into the drive, my son asked, “Dad, where’s the fun?” By the two hour mark, the frustration in his voice had turned to disappointment. From out of the window, he saw a go-cart track and said, “That looks like something we could do, so let’s stop there.” I just continued to drive. Then he saw the exit to a water park. He said, “Don’t you think we could have a lot of fun there?” Again, I continued to drive. Inside, I was about to burst, but I said to him, “Let’s go just a little further and see if there is anything else to do.” I then pulled into a barren parking lot that appeared to offer no fun and games. Then it happened…my son looked up and saw Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves. Along this journey, there were a lot of things we could have stopped to do that would have been fun and exciting, but I chose to bypass them all in order to give him the one desire of his heart.
It was the most wonderful experience to get to see life from the Lord’s perspective as I saw it on that day. There are moments in this journey of life where it gives the appearance that either the Lord has abandoned care for us, has nothing in store for us, or does not know what He is doing. Time and again in my life, I have found that in the frustration of those moments, I have settled for second best in life. While I am a slow learner of things in my walk with the Lord, I’m beginning to catch on to the fact that when the journey seems boring and fruitless, if I will not panic or become anxious, He is trying to lead me to the thing He wants to give me most…my true heart’s desire. Sometimes, life can be like squeezing a sponge. You squeeze as hard as you can hoping to drain the sponge of its contents, but, if someone else with a stronger grip should squeeze after you, surprisingly, the sponge has more to yield that you couldn’t see or feel. The secret to a satisfying life is determined by who does the squeezing! How do we fulfill our heart’s desire by getting the most out of life?
We must trust His patience. Psalm 145:16 reads, “Thou openest thine hand, and satifiest the desire of every living thing.” The word satisfieth means “to fill,” but the word desire carries the meaning of “satisfying a debt.” As a teenage shepherd boy, David was anointed to be the king. However, it took him nearly twenty years before he received the throne. Why? David was prepared for the kingdom, but the kingdom wasn’t prepared for him. Israel had settled for second best in their desire for a king, and the Lord had to give them all of Saul they could stand so they could appreciate the gift of David. For all those long, lonely years, David labored and languished with no sight of a throne or the sound of a kingdom. Quite often, the Lord fills our “sponge” with hopes and dreams in life, and His squeezes give the appearance of bringing destruction when in reality they are bringing fulfillment to what He wanted to give us all along!
We must travel His pathway. In 1 Kings 9, we are told the Lord appeared unto Solomon “…when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord…and all Solomon’s desire…” The word desire is the beautiful picture of someone knowing where the want to go, but unable to get there because the pathway is darkened, and they need someone to guide them by holding their hand. Solomon was young and taking on tasks larger than his ability with vision of things he’d never seen before. Only God knew the right way. When the road of life is uncertain and intimidating, our human tendency is to choose secondary paths where rays of light are seen. If we would pause rather than panic, like the blind man, the demon-filled child, and Jairus’ dead daughter, the Lord will find us and take us “by the hand.” It is far safer to walk in the dark with His hand than to walk alone where all is seen.
We must trace His progress. I love Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” One might assume this verse makes the Lord the granter of our every wish. However, the word delight sheds light on a condition we must meet. It means “to be soft and pliable.” It is a life that can be shaped, molded, and moved. In those times when our path is uncertain and our destination unknown, there is a question we must answer: Do I still see the movement of God in my life? His activity is the assurance of a horizon not yet seen, and a destination once believed unreachable.
Just what does the Lord have in store for your life? Today, that is Heaven’s secret and it’s not being told. Only those who stay till the end will ever know for sure. Perhaps in time you will say like my son, “Thank you dad for saving the best part for last.”
Your Most Proud Pastor,
© Alan Stewart, 2005.
Alan Stewart: Dr. Alan Stewart has served as Senior Pastor of Rechoboth Baptist since December 1999. He attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Moody Bible Institute, Covington Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to pastoring the Tennessee church, Alan was an evangelist for 15 years. He has preached revivals/pastor’s conferences in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. He also preached crusades/conferences in India, Hungary, and conducted a crusade in South Africa in August of 2009. Pastor Alan is married to Jeanne, and they are blessed with two children – Sierra and Seth.