Soft and Tender

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. [Psalm 37:4, NRSV]

The Hebrew word for delight refers to the softhearted tenderness of an intimate, love-bonded relationship. The implied picture is an atmosphere of continued sensitivity of the needs of the other.

Our western culture is in constant tension with tenderness. Business and busyness can keep us out of touch with the atmospheres we create; distance, arrogance, coldness; and the level of disconnectedness that defines it. Often, the screams of earthly priorities overshadows the heavenly places we are called to dwell in so we can effectively touch the world around us.

In striving for the things we want, the true riches of his desires for us pass by unseen. It is hard to possess what we are not aware is available to us. An encounter with God shifts the focus of our heart to a treasure of extreme value and we begin to understand that the true riches of life are not material. Isaiah 55:1-2 beckons us to buy the riches of spiritual food.

Jesus is the most thoughtful and considerate person on the planet. What he gives is what really satisfies even when we are unaware of it.

An example of that is taken from my life-long fascination for playing music. I pursued it passionately but was never fulfilled by it. Then a few years ago, during an intimate moment with God, Papa dropped a thought in my heart about writing a fictional story. I acted on the thought although I had never successfully written fiction. In the process of unpacking the idea, I discovered a gift that wasn’t there before. It’s a gift that brings me into his presence time and again, and allows me to go places with sanctified imagination.

He knows things about us we’ve never discovered. We cannot receive the best if we are tenaciously holding on to something else.

It takes a tender heart to live out the best of the Kingdom of God and a soft heart to buy into invisible treasure.

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