I arrived at church, grabbed my Bible, and sat down at the piano. I began singing my heart to the Lord. Sunlight strown in the window as my fingers played the keys. The warmth of it reminded me of God's love and hand over my life. These are perhaps some of my favorite times with God. I feel so near to Him. I imagine Him sitting right next to me, listening to my every word, moving every stroke of my fingers.
One song that came into my mind was that of the hymn, "His Eye is on the Sparrow." I found the words in one of our hymnbooks and began to sing them from my heart. I had heard this song before but had never really soaked in the words.
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy,I sing because I’m free,For His eye is on the sparrow,And I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I love that! "Why should I be discouraged?" Jesus is my portion! I also loved the last verse when it says "I lose my doubts and fears; though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;" Praise God that He leads every step I take. Even if I cannot see exactly what He is doing.
It was then that I was reminded of another song. I'd been thinking and singing this song "As the Deer" for a few days now. I had filled in for my mom during Sunday worship last week by playing the piano. Dad and I had considered leading this song, but we decided not to. It "just so happened" that the words were still lying on the piano. And, as I began singing this song that I had grown up singing my whole life, God began to speak to my heart. Even though I knew the words by heart, I had never really taken time to process them. At that piano, I sang: "I want you more than gold or silver, only You can satisfy. You alone are real joy Giver and the apple of my eye."
Wow...thoughts began flooding my mind of the things that I place in my life or desire in my life to "satisfy" and be that giver of joy. But, what I sang this afternoon was that Jesus is the ONLY true joy-Giver and the ONLY One Who can truly satisfy. Singing these words brought tears to my eyes. I began praying, "God what am I putting in place of You to try and satisfy those deep longings within my life? What am I looking to in order to find contentment and joy?"
Let me ask you a question. What is it that you are putting your satisfaction and joy into? What is it that you think you cannot live without and truly be satisfied? I do not know about you, but many things came to my mind. And, as I knelt down at the altar this afternoon, I called out those things that I put so much hope and anticipation and satisfaction in. It was hard to confess those things and lay them down....but, oh the freedom that came. And just as that beautiful hymn said: "I sing because I’m happy,I sing because I’m free; for His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me."
Friends, nothing will satisfy like the Lord Jesus. Yes, He chooses to sometimes give those blessings for which we desire. But, NOTHING….do you hear? NOTHING will satisfy and provide us with true joy except our Savior God. Not that perfect job, beautiful house, fancy car, close friendships, money....not even those children, not a husband, not a wife, not a fiancé, not a boyfriend/girlfriend, not a diploma, not a degree, not a perfect figure….you name it. But here's the exciting news! Get excited, because you have a God that can feel every deep longing of that precious heart of yours. In fact, He knows your heart so well, because He created you and He loves you. Praise Him for filling your heart with all-surpassing, everlasting joy!
After singing that song, I got up from the piano and knelt at the altar. I flipped to Psalm 42, which speaks of desiring God's Word as a deer that desires to quench his thirst. And the words I read….were beautiful. Verse 1: "As the deer pants for water brooks, so pants my soul for God, for the living God." On to verse 5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, for the help of His countenance." My heart cried, "AMEN!" I was humbled. Do you see an interesting parallel? The two songs that God burdened within my heart were both patterned after the words of Psalm 42. All I could pray was: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for speaking to my heart." Do we serve a personal God or what? He would choose to reveal Himself to someone like me. I am humbled and honored before Him.
Dear friends, we can have hope because of the God we serve. We can experience true joy and perfect satisfaction from the Giver and Sustainer of our lives: Jesus Christ our Lord. Doesn't that excite you? May you know today that He Who calls you by name, He Who loves you, Who considers you precious is alive and working. He longs that your life be filled with joy, true joy! And those precious things that your heart so desperately desires: know that in His timing and in His will, He will surely fulfill all that He has promised….all that He has planned.
May you rest assured in Him and live in hope both today and the days to come. May your heart be filled with the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank Him for that joy. Thank Him for satisfying even your deepest longings. Thank Him for hope.