What Is Your Wish Psalm 20:4

Thy heart’s desire. - Psalm 20:4

What do you wish for most? Tell me, and I shall tell you what sort of a boy or girl you are. For your wishes are like a handful of grass thrown up into the air; the grass shows which way the wind blows, and your wishes show the real you. You think that you make your wishes. So you do. But your wishes also make you, and what you wish for most you are.

Now everyone has wishes, from baby, who holds out his chubby hand to reach a biscuit or a favorite toy, to grandfather and grandmother, who wish for a cozy fireside, a footstool at their feet, and a kind little grandchild to run their errands, unlace their boots, and toast their slippers at the fire.

We begin to wish as soon as we are born, and we keep on wishing though we live to be a hundred and twenty. But it is when we are young that we wish the hardest; and the boy or girl who has no wishes does not exist. If such a child were to be found he would be worth exhibiting in a museum or a menagerie with a label round his neck, and on it these words, “The Only Specimen.”

1. When we are young we long for many things. We usually long in the first place to be grown-up. We think it would be perfect to be done with school and lessons, to be free to do exactly as we like.
The extraordinary part of it is that grown-up people generally long to be young. They say, “Oh! if only we were children again!” They have tried both childhood and manhood and they prefer childhood. So you see there must be something specially nice about being young, and you needn’t be in too great a hurry to grow up.

Some of you are longing to be grown-up because you wish to be doctors, or nurses, or lawyers, or teachers, or carpenters, or pilots, or bulldozer drivers, or preachers. You are counting the years till you can be what you have set your heart upon being.

Then, besides these big wishes for the future, you have ever so many little wishes for the present. You are wishing for a watch, or a bicycle, or a fishing-rod and tackle, or an electric torch, or a set of tools, or a new video game, or a phone, or a trampoline, or—but you see we could go on all morning, just counting your different wishes!

Then some of us have wishes that we are too shy to put into words. We want to be honorable and brave and true and good, to love God and help others, but we’d rather not speak about that. These wishes are somehow sacred things.

2. Now let me tell you a secret. What we wish for most we often get, if—and this is the important half of the secret—if we only wish it hard enough. Yes, that’s true, although some of you will say it sounds too good to be true. It is because of this. If you want a thing very badly you bend all your will towards getting it. You try every road that you think will reach it. You “leave no stone unturned,” as the saying is, till you get that wish fulfilled. You see, you do more than say, “I should like” you do more than say, “I wish”; you say, “I will,” and you get it.

That sounds rather nice. Yes, but to me it also sounds rather dangerous. The nice bit is that it teaches you not to be content with merely wishing things in a half-hearted way. It encourages you to stick in and get them. Success comes to the boy or girl who determines to succeed. The dangerous bit is that you may want the wrong things, and hurt yourselves and others in getting them. There are people in the world today who have wanted certain things so tremendously that they have trampled on faith and love and honor and justice to get them. And when they have got them, these same things have tasted as dust and ashes in their mouth. They wish now that they had never wished for them.

3. So we must be careful to wish right wishes, and we must try to get them in a right way. If we do not get them we shall know that God thinks it is best for us not to have these wishes granted. But that need not keep us from wishing other wishes or even the same wishes, for God may fulfill our heart’s desires in another way.

There was a very famous American doctor whose dream as a boy was to become a great surgeon. His father was dead and his mother was very poor; and a medical training is very expensive, so it did not look as if he would see his dream fulfilled. But he worked and he struggled and he studied, he overcame tremendous obstacles, and at the age of thirty he found himself assistant to a great American professor of surgery. It looked as if he were really going to get his wish at last.

Then a terrible thing happened. He developed a rare form of skin disease which meant that he couldn’t perform ordinary operations. He was in deep despair, so deep that he thought of taking his own life; but fortunately he told his professor, and that wise man said, “You can’t do wet surgery, but why not try dry surgery?” The young man later became world-famous. He gained his desire to be a great surgeon, but he was not the kind of surgeon he first set out to be.

And that is the way with some of our wishes. God does not grant us them exactly. He fulfills them another way because He wants us to do other work for Him. But He still wants us to keep on wishing and bringing our wishes to Him. Some wishes He will grant us here and now. Some He may refuse because they would harm us if we got them. Some He will keep to grant us in that better country where all noble longings and all unselfish desires will be grandly and wonderfully fulfilled.

- James Hastings, Children's Great Texts Of The Bible