Two little boys wanted a pony for Christmas. They ran downstairs on Christmas morning hoping to find that pony. But all they found was a Christmas tree with piles of manure around it. The older boy cried, “No pony! Christmas is ruined!” The younger boy ran to the barn to get a shovel. When he returned, he started shoveling away, saying, “With all this manure, there has to be a pony in here someplace.” I want to talk to you today about how to hang on to what you desire of the Lord especially when there is a lot of stuff piling up around you.
The two boys in this story had very different views of the circumstances on that Christmas morning; they had desires for the same thing, but circumstances caused them to see things very differently. Psalm 27:4 says, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” In many ways we are like these boys. Often the circumstances of our lives are so challenging that we fail to see the One Thing about Life that matters the most. Where do we live with our desires?
Now, you may say, “But circumstances are real, so how can we pretend they do not exist?” I am not suggesting we ignore our circumstances at all. I am saying that as believers we must learn to see through our circumstances to find the Lord’s provision for our desires. We can learn something from each of those two boys. We can learn to not miss out on our blessings because we see all that is bad—all that is not what we want—in our circumstances. Or we can be willing to put our faith and hope to work a little and shovel away some of the things that surround our circumstances so that we can find what the Lord has given us.
Often, we are unwilling, either knowingly or unknowingly, to see that even as we tell the Lord what we desire, we may have to look for that to come in ways that are not what we expect. The One Thing sure to move the Lord to respond to our prayers is when we pray a prayer of faith that is based on patience and encouragement.
We see this also in our scripture. David asked the Lord for “One Thing.” His circumstances at the time were grave as he had enemies coming at him from every direction, and he had people close to him who would undermine him at any opportunity. He could have said, “I need a lot from you right now, Lord.” But instead, he said, “The One Thing I desire from you is to live in Your house.” In a way David is saying it doesn’t matter what his circumstances are, he wants to live those out in the house of the Lord. What about you and me? Where do we live out the circumstances of our lives?
The world that we live in right now is a little crazy, and it becomes even more so daily. We cry out for unity, but we bring division by the way we live and the things we do. We say we want a pony for Christmas, but we do not want to deal with the manure and the straw and the work that comes with owning a pony. As a nation, we do not really want a relationship with the Lord, and we do not know how to have the relationship we believe we want with each other. Our scripture today is saying to us that even in a world that is lost within in its self-made needs, the believer can still have their desires met when we remember the One Thing that matters most. No matter what is happening around us, we must live dependent on and in the presence of the Lord.
So, like that kid who shoveled the manure away looking for that pony, let’s look at the Word today and learn to shovel away at the needs we have that grow each day and learn to live by a single desire that is sure to be found underneath all our wants. Here is the One Thing that is always true for us. The Lord is our light in all the darkness we will face; let’s not look for that light in any other place. The Lord is the strength of our life; let’s not have any other thing that we believe we can draw strength from. The Lord is the place where we may live when we are in a time of trouble; let’s learn to bring our troubles to Him rather than learn to live in the wrong places. And in those times when we may feel like we will faint and lose all hope, let’s remember to believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord while we yet live, no matter our circumstances.
The One Thing that matters most and will surely encourage you to live life to the fullest is to learn to wait on the Lord and to be of good courage because He will strengthen your heart. If you do this, you will find a shovel somewhere in your life that is exactly right for shoveling away some of the mess hiding what the Lord has given you. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.