Sunday, June 5, 2011


Psalm 37:4 (New International Version)

4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.


I’ll take a mansion, and a sports car and…

Uhm…not so fast.

Despite what some prosperity gospel proponents say, that’s not what this verse means.

So what is?

Well, it’s exactly what it says.

It’s just not what many of us initially think it says.

He will give us the desires of our hearts. As in He will place within our hearts the desires He wants us to have.

It doesn’t (usually) happen overnight, but with time, and through walking with Him, He will transform our desires for what we think we want into those He knows are best.

For years, I wanted to build a brand new house out in the country on a nice little three acre parcel we inherited. I mean I really wanted it. There was a long time it seemed that would never be possible (the property was landlocked—no roads reached it).

Then, things changed. We gained access. We had a road put in. We had a building site cleared, a septic system installed, electricity brought in.

My desire for that new house in the country was about to be fulfilled. Thank-you, Lord!

Then the paper mill where my husband had worked for seventeen years closed its doors.

The dream died.

I didn’t rant about it. Not out loud, anyway. I said the right things, about how the Lord was in control and I knew he would bring good out of this. And I meant it. But it was more an act of obedience than something I felt at the time.

The truth was I was disappointed. Majorly.

But gradually the disappointment diminished. And so did my desire for that new house. One day I realized the desire had left completely. I was shocked!

After I came to the realization I no longer wanted that house, I looked at all the things that had happened in the years since the house-in-the-country dream died. Activities for our son, areas of ministry, being caregiver for my parents, friendships made in our neighborhood… All these and more would have been much more difficult—if not impossible—had we built that house.

Slowly, patiently, lovingly, the Lord had given me the desire of my heart. The desire He wanted me to have. To be happy and content right where I am. In our house on the block in town.

And I am.

I’d say that is a jackpot!

Psalm 37:4 (New International Version)

4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

The Veil Thins


  1. Yes, this is lesson that I've had to learn a few times. Isn't it great when we can look back and see how God worked things out?

  2. Great summation, Shelley, of a life following the desires of your heart--the ones God placed there.

  3. Love this demonstration of the lesson we ALL need to learn! Thanks, Shelley!

  4. So true, Shelly.
    When my aunt was still very groggy after delivering her third daughter, she confided in my grandpa that she had wanted a son for my sports-minded uncle. Grandpa simply stated, "Isn't it nice that God gives us what we need instead of what we want." My cousin, BTW, was always the apple of my uncle's - and my aunt's - eye.

  5. Powerful lesson, indeed! Thanks, Shelly, you inspired my day!

  6. I appreciate the tone and transparency of your words--I feel like I've just had a conversation with you--one in which I was uncharacteristically quiet:).

  7. I'm so glad God doesn't give us what we think we want. He knows what's ahead and even though we might rant and rave, He lovingly listens and loves us anyway. It's good to look behind and understand what God was doing. Yes, God is so good!

    Nice post, Shelley!

  8. I remember learning the true meaning of this verse for the first time and being blown away by how backwards I had it. God doesn't willy-nilly grant whatever my heart desires; He gives my plants in my heart HIS desires, and then what I thought I wanted no longer matters--I no longer desire it.

    In the years since then, I have experienced my desires changing to His in more than one area. (I'm still praying and waiting on others.) And then those new desires being fulfilled. You've laid this out so simply and conversationally! (Lisa said it well.)

  9. Thanks, everybody. I really appreciate the comments and reading about your experiences and insights, too. The Lord is so good to us! Thanks again.

  10. This is a great post, Shelly...a positive reminder of what's important in life: God's Will!! Your honesty and sweet spirit reflects a life that has learned a valuable lesson... thank you so much for passing that lesson on... :)



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