How freely do you offer your heart? For some, the answer would be "way too freely", while others would admit to a reluctance to "let anyone come close". We all could answer this a little bit differently - depending on the "who", "where", "when", and "why" of this "offering", right? When the "who" is right, we offer it with a little more exuberance. If the right timing is there, we just might find ourselves drawn a little closer and opening up a little quicker. When life's circumstances are just right, we are at the place we might just be a little "weaker" than others. So, our hearts can be offered freely, or with great hesitation and "hold back" on our parts. When we offer our heart to the right person, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons, what a difference that makes!
I offer you my heart, Lord God, and I trust you. Don’t make me ashamed or let enemies defeat me. Don’t disappoint any of your worshipers, but disappoint all deceitful liars. Show me your paths and teach me to follow; guide me by your truth and instruct me. You keep me safe, and I always trust you. Please, Lord, remember, you have always been patient and kind. Forget each wrong I did when I was young. Show how truly kind you are and remember me. You are honest and merciful, and you teach sinners how to follow your path. (Psalm 25:1-8 CEV)
When we offer our hearts, we are stating we trust the individual to whom it is offered. We rely upon them to not trample on it, nor leave us high and dry somewhere down the road, right? Now, when we offer our hearts to God, we can pretty much stand assured, without any reasonable doubt, that he will not do this. When we offer our hearts to another, we might not have this same "full assurance" - so I can understand why we might approach God is a kind of "wary" manner when it comes to "fully trusting" him with our hearts! We have been "burned" by someone else's actions against us and this makes it difficult for us to trust again - even when it comes to trusting God.
Look again at what David is saying in this prayer to God. He is kind of sharing some of his concerns - as though in taking the first step to trust God with his heart, he is sharing with God where it is he has concerns in this "trust relationship". The very statement, "Don't make me ashamed...", is an indication he is fearful God might let him down or that his enemies might get the upper hand, showing his trust in God to be less than reliable. He even goes so far as to ask God not to disappoint any of the worshipers who place their trust in him. Another word for this "disappointment" is frustration or disillusionment. He is simply stating that he might have a niggling of a concern God will disappoint - frustrate or fail to fulfill the expectations of those who place their trust in him fully. But...David is "working through" his underlying concerns by "laying them on the table" before God. He doesn't want his "offering" of heart commitment to be overshadowed by any fear or underlying doubt.
When he asks God to show him his paths and instruct him how to follow, he is simply stating he is placing his full trust in God to not lead him astray. He is indicating he is reliant upon God to even direct the very steps he takes. If you have ever trusted so fully as to close your eyes, fall backwards into someone's waiting arms, then you kind of get what David is saying here. He is saying he is taking the "full plunge" into God's hands - not holding back, but reaching beyond his fears and just allowing God to take him fully into his control. Trusting begins with the first step (sometimes the biggest step of all), but I also believe it takes some pretty savvy understanding on our parts not to pull back once we have placed ourselves into his hands. We need to recognize how "guarded" our hearts can be about opening up to another - and how protective it can be to keep us from experiencing "hurt" or "loss". We have to take the next step, as David instructs, in order to get beyond this "protectiveness" of our hearts - that of being taught in God's truths.
This is why David asks for God's instruction - to help him realize where he has misplaced fears, misguided trust, and misinterpreted beliefs. There is one final part of this trust relationship I don't want us to miss because it is pretty much what all of us "fear" the most in relating to Jesus. It is that of having our wrongs remembered. David asks God to "forget" - put far from his memory so as to never remember or recount again - those failures of our past, present, and even those we will have in the future. Many times, if we can get beyond taking the first step with trusting God, and even allow him to envelop us in his grace and love, we "hold out" a little because we live with a "fear" God just might not forgive or forget some of our "wrongs" in life. I am glad David prays this because it shows us we are not all that different - we sometimes hold onto what God says he has already put behind us - fearing that "thing" in our past will be able to crop up down the road and interfere with this "trust relationship".
Truth is - God wipes the slate clean. A clean slate is only good for one thing - to have new words written on it! This is how God sees our lives - as clean slates, just waiting to be written anew. In turn, he asks only one thing of us - put our trust in him. It may seem elemental, I know, but trust me on this - all things with God are not complex and beyond our comprehension. When it comes to his love and grace - even when we don't understand them completely - we can count on them! Just sayin!