How to get what you want out of life

Renee Ann Smith —  January 16, 2012 — 29 Comments

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? Do you want the moon? . . . Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.

Mary Hatch: I’ll take it. Then what?

Don’t you love this scene? George is so caught up in the romance of the moment that he can’t imagine giving his girl something ordinary. He’s inspired to think big. His quest is to find the most impossible, improbable, incredible gift ever. Of course, he can’t deliver, but we love him for making the offer.

“Wanting the moon” has come to mean wanting the impossible or wanting everything. Or both. This phrase reminds me of the many people, who spend their lives wanting, striving, getting, and yet somehow never feeling satisfied. Instead of contentment, their lives are characterized by the question, “Then what?”

I guess part of the problem is that our hearts can’t be trusted. The Bible tells us this. (Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”) And all our experiences live it out. It’s way too easy to desire the wrong things. How many diabetics love the sugar that could kill them? How many abused women love the men who would hurt them? . . .

So what do we do? The answer can be found in Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Does this mean we should try to pile up so many good works that God can’t possibly say no to us? Is this verse promising we can force God’s hand?

To understand God’s meaning, the word “give” would be better rendered “shape.” “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will [shape] the desires of your heart.” In other words, if we yield our hearts to Him, He’ll help us want what He wants us to want.

Can we cease our striving and trust Him? Soak in these words from Ephesians 3:20&21, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” ~The Message~

I think that’s better than promising the moon!

I’m linking with Soli Deo Gloria, We Encourage @Call Me Blessed, and Women Living Well.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

29 responses to How to get what you want out of life

  1. Very inspiring. Wonderfully put!

  2. I love that word “shape” in this verse. It makes me think of how He years to constantly be molding us more and more into His image – from the depths of our hearts.

  3. What a beautiful reminder, Renee! I just did a talk on contentment at my mom’s group, and we talked about how losing our lives for Christ is the way we truly find ourselves–the dreams He has for us. Exciting stuff.

  4. Sometimes we do not even know what our ‘moon’ is. But God does and he gives before we ask at times.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here–Konstanz, Melanie, Jen, Shanda! I appreciate your encouragement and fellowship :)

  6. Oh, I just love this post! You know, I never quite understood that passage: “Delight yourself in the Lord…”. Folks would encourage me to read that passage years ago, when my husband and I struggled with infertility, and despite my love and faith, I’d say “I do…but He won’t!” You using “shape” there brings a whole new meaning to me. Thank you! {And by the way, He did: The Boy is going on 6.} :)

  7. I love this! What a wonderful thought to start my day. Thank you Renee!

  8. I came over from SDG and am glad I did! This post is a great reminder to trust, not “grasp.” He knows the hearts He made, and how to fill each one to the brim.

    At school, do you teach the classics? I’d love to hear a Christian’s take on some of the literature I studied at a decidedly secular college.

  9. Ahhh!!! George Bailey! Clearly you are a kindred spirit. There are few things in life that can’t be illustrated with a quote from It’s a Wonderful Life. That’s what I think. :)

    “What is it you want?” A good question, one that Jesus posed to the man lying by the Pool of Siloam. A good one to reflect on in the new year. Blessings.

  10. I love the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”. It is full of life lessons and this was a great one. Trusting in Our Heavenly Father and his plan for us is something to always be reaching for.
    Blessings to you for a great post.

  11. My word for the year is surrender…this totally speaks to me!!

  12. i think part of that trust comes in the knowing and i find as we know the desires of our heart align a whole lot more with his….

  13. There is so much here I love, I don’t even know where to start! First of all, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite movies and this scene just delights me. Who wouldn’t love George Bailey at this moment?! And your gentle message about wanting and seeking falls on fertile ground here. I have been focusing in this new year on being intentional in seeking God and being content when I find Him. Thank you for the reminder that to delight in Him will shape our hearts in ways we can’t even imagine. I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing. And for linking up with NOBH! Smiles –

  14. oh, i love that movie. and i`ve never heard it described that way before, this shaping of our desires, but it makes perfect sense. thank you so much friend. so glad you linked. e.

  15. This is my husband’s FAVORITE movie. He watched it every year at Christmas for many years before we ever met.

  16. Thanks for chiming in here, ladies! Blessings!

  17. Nice to meet you, Renee! Thanks for your encouragement over at my blog.
    I love this post and I love your usage of “shape” instead of give in the Psalms passage. When we are being transformed into His likeness more every day, His desires become our desires.

  18. What a wonderful post reminding us of the importance of desiring what he desires!!

    God bless you!

  19. Thanks for your encouragement, Kelli and Jewel! I appreciate your taking the time to share some words here. Blessings!

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