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Change? Who, Me?

By Danielle Phillips

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

Ok, let’s be real for just a second, ladies. You know how sometimes that one innocent question that someone asks is the release button for the floodgates of emotions that we’ve been so successfully hiding? Please tell me I’m not the only one that can relate to this. For example, last spring something just like this happened to me. I was in Savannah, Georgia driving around town one night just getting away for a bit (as much as I love living in a girls’ dorm at college, sometimes you just have to clear your head if you know what I mean :)) Anyway, I was doing fine being the strong, independent college kid keeping all of my emotions in check when my mom asked that question while I was on the phone with her. Yeah, the one that released the floodgates. Whew, did she unsuspectingly ask for it! I began to pour out my woes, and at the end of my sorrowful speech my mom had some advice. “Pray that God will change your heart.” Um, didn’t she know I wanted the situation changed not “my heart”?

Amazingly, I found Psalm 27 that night. I didn’t choose it because of what I had been told earlier, but God directs our paths, right? (He’s really awesome like that!) When I read verse 14, I thought my troubles were on their way out the door!

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Now bear with me; I did not put this together as quickly as I should have. Honestly, when I read this I thought, “Great! This verse says to wait and God is going to take care of everything. My problem will be fixed if I simply wait.” You see, I was stuck on that word wait because that was what I was being forced to do. There was literally nothing that I could do to fix the situation in which I found myself. So, when I read that God wanted me to wait I was assuming that He would take care of everything and make it all better. I realized my mistake a little later.

As I continued to read and hold on to this passage night after night, I came to understand the verse better. Disappointedly, this verse says absolutely nothing about the problem disappearing or even being slowly resolved. It says simply that our hearts will be strengthened if we wait on God.
What? God is not necessarily going to fix my problem when I bring it to Him? Is it possible that He prefers to fix me? That’s a little harder to swallow.

The fact is, there are still consequences that we have to deal with in this sometimes stressful thing called life. Whether those consequences are because of our actions or another’s, they don’t automatically go away just because we finally turn it over to God. Rather though, God promises to adequately equip our hearts to continue on.

Is going through a difficult time fun or easy? Of course not. Is it possible to get through it? Absolutely.

Speaking of hearts, so many times today, the slogan “Follow your heart” is promoted and pushed to young girls especially. But wait. Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Then why should I want to follow my heart? It will only bring me trouble. This is as always easier said than done, but so true nonetheless. We as ladies many times act out of emotion rather than fact. Often we may act upon what feels good at the moment. I have learned though that doing what I want at the moment many times gets me into trouble later. It can be a struggle, I know. We want to lay on the couch and have “me time” instead of doing our devotions. We want to wear the shirt as it is because layering just messes up the whole look of the outfit. We want to date that guy because he makes us feel special even though we know it isn’t right. You could say we act on what our heart is telling us rather than our mind. Because that is the case, it is vital that we put into our heart the right things. I pray often, “Lord, guide my heart.” Because if I let God guide my desires - if I can get to the point that what He wants is what I want - I realize the heartache it will prevent. To get to this place though, I may even need a heart change. Those words, “Let God change your heart” can have so many applicable scenarios. To combat my own “wicked heart” though, I need strength. Sound familiar?

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

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