Although giving presentations has been part of my career for years, I still get the jitters before each one. My mind goes into a swirl as I try to recall every detail that I want to remember to say. I rehearse in my head to remember to pause, make eye contact, and talk slowly. Sometimes I have worked myself into a state of unnecessary anxiety. That is until I remember God’s got me. Always.
One of these times happened recently. I started a new job a few months ago and last week was my first week going solo without my training mentor. I had prepared the presentation for the executive team, so I knew the material. But what I had not done was delivered this type of presentation before and to add just a little pressure, my boss’s boss was going to be in the room. Yikes! Jesus, take the wheel!
I had already prayed and had my devotional earlier that morning, so I wasn’t afraid. I mean God had given me this opportunity after a particularly difficult time and I was (am still am) grateful. But still, I wanted to do well. For Him. As I sat in the lobby, I quickly went to my Bible app and the verse for the day was “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 ESV). I had read this verse many times before and I always interpreted it to mean that you are to love the Lord and in return He will give you something. Well, we know that’s bad theology. God loves because God loves. He doesn’t put conditions on how and who He loves. He just loves.
Yet, the Holy Spirit kept pinging me to read it again. That word “delight” seemed odd to me. I find cute kids delightful. I’ve had meetups with friends that were delightful. But delight in the Lord? What is that? A quick word study on delight showed that it translates to anag in Hebrew which means to be soft, dainty and delicate. Another Hebrew word for delight is chephets which means to bend or incline toward. So, God wants us to lean into Him with a gentle joy or a sort of resting assurance.
To provide some context, in the earlier verses of Psalm 37, David is giving wise counsel about fretting…the same kind of fretting that I was doing in the lobby waiting to give my presentation. The same kind of fretting that we do while waiting for results from a report, or call from our kids’ school, or an upcoming difficult conversation. Verses 2-7 give tips to counter against fretting over stuff. But in the middle at verse four it gets personal. We must choose to lean into God the same way that a baby nuzzles against your neck when they’re sleepy or agitated and find rest there, in a delightful state. Then He will give us the desires of our hearts.
On this day, I pray that you allow yourself to release the burdens and anxiety that may be washing over you. Take a moment to breathe out the frustrations. Allow your emptied self to become soft and vulnerable. You don’t have to be “on” all the time and by your own might. I pray that you will lean into God and find sweet rest there and allow Him to love you like no other can. God, we need you. We want you. Amen.