In 1996, after thirteen years of living in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, my heart was aching for wide open spaces, country roads and peace and quiet. I was done with Manhattan and ready to go fly fishing in Montana. But God had other plans. For some inexplicable reason, I suddenly felt an overwhelming need to leave Manhattan and move back to Florida, where I was born and raised. I returned to the warm sunshine and sandy beaches, but Fort Lauderdale had changed dramatically over those thirteen years.
With the real estate boom came a deluge of high rise buildings, not only up and down the beaches, but all the way out to, well, almost to the Everglades. Practically half way to Naples anyway.
And with all that development came six lanes of heavy traffic on highways going east and west. And north and south. I felt as though I was back in Manhattan, only instead of my world being a vertical concrete jungle, it was a horizontal grid of asphalt and traffic lights.
I asked myself, why Lord? But God had a plan. It had to do with my salvation. I just didn’t know it yet.
I got saved at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale Florida in March of 2001.My best friend from childhood, Amy Smith, persuaded me to drive 30 miles north of Hollywood to a ginormous church campus, off of Cypress Creek Road. I had never seen anything like it. I couldn’t believe there were no stained glass windows or ornate carvings. But I had another overwhelming feeling. Only this time it wasn’t to pack and leave, it was to stay put. For the first time in my life, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. By my third Sunday service I was broken. With tears pouring down my face, I walked down that long isle to the front of the church and received Christ as my Lord and Savior.
The Bible says that the Lord knows us intimately, from before we were formed in our mother’s womb. This idea is sometimes hard for me to fathom. But time and time again, the Lord has proven to me that not only does He know my innermost thoughts, but that He cares about the desires of my heart. More than that, He gives me the desires of my heart.
Psalm 139:2 says “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”
The number seven represents completion in the bible. From the day I got saved it was exactly seven years to the day when the Lord moved me again. And this time He knew, I was ready. The time was right for me to live out my life driving around some of the most beautiful country roads in all the world. Sonoma County, California country roads.
Now these days as I drive alongside magnificent rolling vineyards, breathe deep the country air and marvel at the mountains, I delight in God’s love and kindness toward me. I am amazed how He gave me the most beautiful desires of my heart. I thank Jesus everyday over and over again, for his loving kindness and great mercies toward me.
What has Christ done in your life to bless you with the desires of your heart? Throughout the scriptures the Bible tells us to “give thanks to the Lord, and praise his name.” Are you thanking our Lord Jesus for all of his wonderful deeds? I encourage you to live a life filled with gratitude, praise and thanksgiving. Hallelujah.
Please share your stories of Thanksgiving with us. We would love to hear what the Lord is doing in your life.