When we were house hunting, I had many desires in my heart. I was looking for some very specific qualities in a house. I fell in love with a couple of two story, hundred year old character homes, with beautifully manicured backyards and lots of space. I told our realtor that my husband might be ambitious with what he says we’ll take on, but I didn’t want a fixer-upper. Not one bit!
As one by one the houses that I loved fell through, my heart was breaking. I had let myself get attached to the idea of them, and I was fighting hard for something that wasn’t meant to be. I heard many times the standard christian line “God will grant you the desire of your heart.” Usually this was followed by an implication that the right two story, hundred year old home had not yet surfaced.
Needless to say, the right house did appear, and it is a true understatement to say that it was not what I desired. A bungalow, fixer-upper with a yard that needed a complete overhaul, was not my idea of a fun weekend project, while preparing to move cities. I knew in my heart this was the one, though every part of my flesh screamed against it.
I went back to the Word of God to remind myself of what He says about our hearts desire. I looked no further than Psalm 37:4.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
The Lord is wonderful, in that sometimes he does not give us what our flesh desires, because he knows the deeper desires of our heart. The greater purposes in our heart sometimes are clouded by selfishness and conceited ambition. Proverbs 20:5 says
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.
The Lord really began to draw out the true desires of my heart. What came to the surface were things that might have been choked out by trying to keep up with higher payments. Desires for space to welcome people was granted, and in a creative way, extra time with my husband was granted since we needed to drive more and stay over night and work on the house. The Lord sees the big picture, even when we don’t.
The wonderful thing is, that Psalm 37 addresses is that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will grant the desires of our heart. He might have to change them while we’re delighting ourselves in him, but when you are connected with him, he will make your desires one with his desires.
And whose desires can compete with His?
Our project isn’t done, but it’s amazing how different this house looks. There are still many lessons to be learned from this new home transformation, but I’ll save them for another conversation, and get back to packing!