If I hear “The Lord will give you the desire of your heart,” one more time…

That was my thought as I walked away from a well-meaning acquaintance that was trying to cheer me up. As soon as the sentence started rolling through my head I could feel it lunging towards my heart where it intended to plant bitterness and anger.

Nope. I wasn’t going to let the thought do that. I was going to get to the bottom of it once and for all. I decided to go digging, digging for the truth of this verse and why I was wrestling with it, never winning, usually with my face pressed to the floor and the air being pushed out of my lungs.

Recently I have been struggling with an unfulfilled desire. There has been much weeping and sorrow and work and money and anxiety spent over this desire I have, but still it has remained unfulfilled, lingering just ahead of me, out of reach as a dream that quite possibly may never come true. I am now wrestling with the thought that I may have to bury this desire of my heart and acknowledge that it and I will never meet.

Sometimes I find myself wanting to kick and scream (sometimes I even do, but quietly, alone, when I can hide my frustration). Sometimes I feel the weight of this unfulfilled desire like a burning in my chest, threatening to consume me.

How did I let it get so out of control? Why can’t I seem to find peace? Why haven’t I just let it go?

I think the answer to these questions has revolved around this verse and the truth in it. The real truth. The truth that I have heard frequently misquoted and have myself, misunderstood.

I want you to be able to see your unrealized dreams and wants and desires here, in this blog. Perhaps it is a music career, a husband or wife, fame, money, a child, health, a vacation. Whatever it may be, I imagine that you, like me have had a friend or relative or christian co-worker quote King David in Psalm 37:4 when he said “[The Lord] will give you the desires of your heart.” I know that I have heard this spoken to me a number of times as well as spoken to others when we are longing for dreams that remain out of reach. In fact I have heard this verse so frequently, that I find myself standing and blinking, a bit in shock because it seems this verse will not be realized in my case.

Have you found yourself, also, standing at this crossroad of disbelief and disappointment? Have you heard your mind shouting “Hey! You promised!” and begun feeling roots of anger clutching at your already frail heart?

How can these two things be reconciled? How can the bible say He will give us the desire of our hearts but so many peoples dreams stay unfulfilled, and instead leaving us broken hearted and reeling in confusion?

I have spent much time chewing on these thoughts and questions, shaping them into fervent prayers while reminding myself to listen to what the Lord would show me from this, because I don’t need a life corrupted by bitterness.

So dig with me…

Matthew Henry gets straight to the heart of this verse and says in his commentary on this Psalm:

“[God] has not promised to gratify all the appetites of the body and the humours of the fancy, but to grant all the desires of the heart, all the cravings of the renewed sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.”


This is why there has been a battle in my heart. This is why I have struggled with letting go. I have mistaken a want for the ultimate, true desire of my heart. I have stood something up like a god, in place of God and I thought He would honor it.

He wants to give me the desire of my heart, and that desire is Him.

He knows me better than I know myself and He knows what the true desire of my heart is. He also knows that I can still have that desire though I have wants that may end in what feels like robbery, loss, failure, disruption, or unfairness.

If I want to receive the desires of my heart, I need to turn myself towards that desire of my heart and let everything else fall away, knowing He is a good God who makes all things right (Romans 8:28 “We are assured and know that all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God…”).

Can you find yourself in these words? Have you struggled with unfulfilled desire? Are you willing to let go of that want so that you can have your fill of your hearts true desire?

I’m letting go.


About sarah macintosh

I am Sarah MacIntosh, formerly the lead singer for a band called Chasing Furies. I am a writer. Some writing has melody some doesn't. Some writing is for myself and some is for others. The songs tend to bubble up inside for quite some time and eventually burst out later with or without a guitar in my hand. Recently there have been towering highs and plummeting lows in my life all which have been carefully guarded by my Savior, Jesus. It is these things that have been written about on scraps of paper, tattered journals, and my faithful mac laptop. These words jotted down have swirled around in my head until they have finally come out of my mouth in melody. Melody and words have joined together and are now being carefully placed and suspended in time on tracks that will eventually be a cd. I will crack the door so that you can see what has been written... here and a a hotel... View all posts by sarah macintosh

9 responses to “Desire…

  • staci


    Yes, yes I do. In fact I was sitting in my pastor’s office this past Friday talking to her about a/the dream I keep trying to bury but it keeps resurfacing. God told me “no” to this dream, very loudly, a couple years ago and it broke my heart. When He said no it felt like an ultimate betrayal and my blood literally went cold and I felt like I’d been ripped apart. I told God that He knows best, what is best for me and that’s what I want more than anything as I’ve seen His plans in my life unfold perfectly orchestrated and flawless and I can NOT argue with that.

    But the desire is still there for this dream and I keep asking God to take it from me but it never really goes away. I’ve heard so many sermons ,from different pastors, where the pastor says that the dreams and desires we have are God given and we have to trust God to make them come to fruition. But now I ask “what if He says no?”. What about that?

    The scripture you quoted was given to me by a successful CCM artist when I was a new believer in Christ and I clung to it for a long time. One day though , a couple years later, someone pointed out to me that I needed to pay attention to the first half of the scripture “Delight yourself in the Lord…” that that was the first and more important part. It kind of took the wind out of my self centered sails a bit.

    I’m not at that total “Delight yourself in the Lord…” part yet to be honest and don’t know if I’ll ever be outside heaven but I pray and hope that I will. When the Lord said “no” I became EXTREMELY bitter and angry and cold. After the Lord said “no” I turned inward and tried to figure out how to live my life without God I was that angry. Thankfully after a week of pure misery and turmoil I couldn’t take it anymore, the misery and trying to live apart from God, that I repented,apologized and asked Him for help. I told Him His ways were best. Then a peace,almost tangible as it felt like a syrup was being poured over me from my head and running down to my toes it was so odd, came over me literally and I smiled for the first time in a week. The next day I still had that strong sense of peace and I was thanking God and telling Him that even if my dream didn’t happen that was ok.

    But again that was a couple years ago and the longing resurfaces from time to time. I want so much for God to just take it from me, but again, He hasn’t. It’s hard and I can relate on some level.

    As for your post I can’t really comment on it at the moment. I need to be quiet and think and pray for understanding. I see the scripture even more differently now than I did twelve years ago.

    Thank you for sharing this too. I pray that it will help others who have similar dream issues.

    • sarah macintosh

      Thank you for your transparency.

      “I need to be quiet and think and pray for understanding.”

      I think this is one of the most honest and truly helpful things we can do in our lives. Thank you for sharing.

  • marie finnie

    well written! thanks for sharing it to us. yes, i have been in that crossroads a few times and would like to share this experience i had. i was studying in uni. when i realised that my childhood dream of becoming a doctor was not going to happen. it was so hard to let go of a dream i badly wanted. but God had other plans for me. i got a job in kuwait and became part of a church family there. that was one of the highlights in my life, that was one of my mountain top experiences. oh, yes, that’s where i met my husband too. : ) when God brought me there, He blessed me financially and spiritually. that is also where God answered my prayer…..He gave me my lifetime partner. such blessing i would have missed if i didn’t learn to let go. God bless.

  • Brenda holladay

    Bravo! Thank you for expressing what so many of us struggle with. I have come to these conclusions that my ‘desires’ were not necessarily God’s desire for me. He is and always will be good.

  • Natalie Stackhouse

    yes, yes, yes. thank you Sarah. ugh with you.for me it is my mama and being so far away from her, being so far away from where she is, having my kids be her only grandkids. and knowing how much love they are missing by not being able to be together. not having the cash to zip across the world and see her and my family whenever i need a mommy hug. that is where this verse catches in my throat. but when God is the desire of my heart, then the sadness and unquenched thirst for my only living parent fades and becomes secondary to the joy.

  • Donna

    Thank you Sarah:
    This ministeted to me in various ways. I lost my husband a month ago and My desire is that he knows how much I love him. I never got to say goodbye – he abruptly wrnt home to the Lord after a heart attack. Thete are so many thimgs I wish I could have said to him – and things I wish I hadn’t in our 24 years together. I have to lnpw that God will grant this dedire – for me to know Richard is happy knew or knows how much I lovr him. God will make it right and give me peace. I have to make my God first and then everything else will fall into place.

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