Saturday, April 24, 2021

Lord Jesus, I want to delight in You!

When I saw this beautiful artwork by Krista Hamrick, I felt led to share this devotional based on one of my favorite Scriptures--Psalm 37:4 . . . “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I discovered a great acrostic memory tool for the word, “delight,” which describes how I have come to apply this verse to my life:
Daily
Everything
Laid
Into
God’s
Hands
Totally

I recently heard this true story about Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous pilot and hero in World War II. Every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean, Eddie came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his hand was a bucket of shrimp. Eddie walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now. Everybody is gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Eddie is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp. Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Eddie stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.' In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Eddie doesn't leave. He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and another place. When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. Eddie quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home. Eddie Rickenbacker was a famous pilot and hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft. Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive. Every day across America millions wondered and prayed that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive. The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft...suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull! Eddie would later describe how they captured the bird and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait...and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea. Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull . . . And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.


I have found over the years that many times my prayers center on what I want the Lord to do: I intercede for people who are critically ill battling disease. There’s a great need in a missionary family in Burkina Faso, West Africa, so I petition daily for God’s help on their behalf. On the home front, I may pray for my children to do better in school, a friend’s job situation or marriage to improve, relief from stress, or many other desires. All of these are valid requests, which if answered in the way we hope, would delight us. But I have learned that this verse calls us to a different prayer focus: to stop and center our heart on the Lord and make him our delight.


According to Psalm 37:4, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. To delight means to take great pleasure or to find joy and satisfaction in something. If it’s hard for us to find our greatest pleasure and delight in God, take heart. Though it’s impossible for us to find our greatest pleasure and delight in God through our own strength, our Heavenly Father has provided a way: His Spirit graciously reveals Jesus to us and causes us to fall more and more in love with Him. Then we find great delight in Him and in His presence.

Lord Jesus, I want to delight in You! Center my heart in knowing You more and loving You more day by day. Help me to discover that there is fullness of joy in your presence and to take great delight in my relationship with You. May my heart desire You above everything else. Give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, give me a heart that seeks Your forgiveness for past sins, and welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I surrender all. Morning after morning. In Your Precious Name Above All Names we pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Psalm 37:4 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.


Look In—as you meditate on Psalm 37:4 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."


Look Out—as you meditate on Psalm 37:4 ...pray to see how you might apply it to your relationship with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this bookName Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

2 comments:

  1. I just loved this story about Eddie Rickenbacker. I read it aloud to Zach, and it was such a blessing to both of us. It was so wonderful to visit with you here tonight. I trust all is well with you and your family. Sending hugs and love to you!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Cheryl. We are are doing well. Many blessings to you and your family ❤️

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