4 score & 7 years ago……… Okay, let’s try that again. 4.5 months ago, we arrived in Uganda to start our new life and God’s calling to live and serve here. You know how the perspective of time works? Yeah, it seems like a lot longer ago and also not that long ago in a galaxy not far away…… Okay, sorry, I drifted a bit there.
In 4 months we have absorbed an enormous amount of change. LIFE has radically changed. My human nature is to reject any real sizable change. When I think of the overwhelming way that the Lord altered my heart when it came to the plight of children halfway around the world and the ensuing result, I am humbled and incredibly grateful. When reading through Psalms a number of years ago, one verse hit me like a ton of bricks that I had read many times before!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4).
What struck me that I never saw before was that in being willing and open to serve God, I have found that He directed me to things that I would have NEVER wanted to do! As a matter of fact, things I would have been terrified to even try! When I think back on it, long ago the “desires of my heart” were more like a bigger paycheck, cooler gadgets, endless vacations and a lifetime supply of cheesecake & doughnuts! Preaching the Word of God on Sunday mornings, leading ministries & counseling were NOT things I would consider desires! And for sure, giving up that bigger paycheck, those cooler gadgets and nice vacations was not MY desire!
So what on earth is this Psalm talking about? What I have learned in life is if my DEEPEST desires are wrapped up in the temporary things of this world, then those desires are part of my selfish sin nature. If I find my value in what I have, in what I drive and what I do, then I am following the wrong path. Now, don’t get me wrong! There is nothing wrong with having gadgets, making good money & seeking to get away sometimes. But they should not be my DEEPEST desires.
I found that I was meant to be more than what I envisioned. God knows who I am meant to be. Since He has designed me in His own image, He knows what I should look like when my selfishness is stripped away. Over time He has stripped away more of the distorted me. All I know is this: I have found that the desires I once had are being replaced with these new desires that were never desires that I desired but now I desire far more than what I used to desire and they have become the DEEPEST desires of my heart!
I sit here this morning with a nasty case of NAUSEA (I know you were wondering about the title) that I got from a stomach bug a few weeks back and was amplified by something I ate yesterday (food poisoning). Yet I can honestly tell you today I no longer have to pursue HAPPINESS anymore! Why? Because God has given me the TRUE desires of my heart; the desires that were the deepest desires all along that were blocked out by the distortions of my conditioning this world fed me and the sin nature that I was born with. In other words: Happiness found me! I cannot emphasize enough that the more you yield your life to the Lord, the more fulfilled you will be. I didn’t say it will be easy because it is not.
I am NOT saying in the least that I no longer sin or no longer desire cheesecake, Klondike bars or doughnuts! (BTW: I have found none of those here in Uganda.) I do and like all followers of Jesus, I will be in that process of shedding the old skin the rest of my life!
The pictures we post; each with their own stories, the kids we minister to; each with a troubled past; the people we meet and get to partner with, are all elements of the deepest desires of our hearts. A year ago today, Debra & I went on a vacation and had a wonderful time. If you had told us then we would be where we are today, I either would have laughed or been loopy with fear. When we are involved in ministry that the Lord leads us to, we will find if we stay His course that He is preparing us for what lies ahead. I realize today what He was preparing us for: Journey Uganda. What a blessing it is to be able to do this!
I would encourage everyone to 1) Develop a relationship with Jesus, 2) Surrender fully to His calling on your life, 3) Fulfill it with courage and confidence. If He is the author, you will truly discover what the deepest desires of your heart are and when you are living in them, your former desires will pale in comparison.
If you desire to partner with us financially, please visit our giving page. (Please Note: You cannot access the page on a mobile device; only from a computer). Thank you for your support and prayers as we minister to the people of Uganda.