When Desires are Unfulfilled Due to COVID-19
Life as we know it has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Most of our 2020 plans and desires have come to a complete halt due to the challenges we are currently facing. That leaves many of us with unfulfilled desires, cancelled plans, and uncertainty about the days ahead.
I recently came across this question in my email inbox, “If you could have anything you wanted out of life what would it be?” My mind immediately started to wander. What exactly do I want out of life? Well, in this immediate moment, a personal chef and maid would be nice! (and all the mamas say, “Amen!”) I’d also love my boys to participate in summer sports, I’d love to be able to go on a date night with my husband, I’d love to worship with my church family again, and I’d be thrilled to have more contact with my friends and family.
These are certainly not bad desires, but as I continued to ponder the question a little more seriously, I couldn’t help but think of the most important thing in my life—Christ. I am a Christian. I am a child of God who was purchased with a price. I am not living my life for me but for the one who purchased me with His blood. So, how am I to respond to this question in a Biblical way? What should I want out of life? Does what I desire out of life here on earth really matter? And when things don’t go as planned how should I respond?
The Bible speaks about desires. It says in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Reading that passage, I can’t help but ask two questions: (1) What does it mean to delight myself in the Lord? and (2) What are the desires of my heart that God will fulfill?
First, we are told to delight ourselves in the LORD–not in doing all the right things or being the best person, but in the LORD. So, the primary thing I need to understand is who the Lord is. In our culture, many people have formed (and sadly often preach) a view of the Lord that is contrary to who the Scriptures say He is. We can know the true Lord by studying His Word for ourselves where we find His character and His will are clearly laid out. If I am not consistently spending time getting to know the Lord through His word, how can I truly be delighting in Him? Delighting in the Lord–knowing who God truly is–will bring me to a place of certainty in knowing that His plans are always good and that His will is much greater than what I can see here on this earth.
Delighting in God ultimately gives us an eternal lens (as Pastor Kevin would say) from which to view all of life. So if an earthly desire of mine is not met, I can be one hundred percent certain that God has a greater purpose for that desire–and it’s one that has eternal significance. And when my desires are consistently being bent toward eternity through my delight in God, I am not so easily disappointed when things don’t go the way I had planned. On the contrary, I am comforted in the fact that there is an all-wise, all-knowing, and all-loving God in charge of my destiny.
So what are the desires of my heart that God will fulfill? The desires of my heart that God wants to fulfill are those that flow from a heart that delights in Him. And, to be honest, many days I need a “delight check.” I need to ask myself consistently, “What am I delighting in today? Is it something that will bring temporary fulfillment or is it something that will bring eternal satisfaction?” My desires only matter in as much as they are rooted in a delight in God and what God delights in. The world wants us to chase earthly desires and forsake all else. God wants us to chase HIM and evaluate all earthly desires in light of Him. Desires are God-given and they do serve a purpose, but we should hold them loosely because the fulfillment of any earthly desire is nothing compared to the eternal treasures we have in Christ.