Desires of the Heart
By Joy Thomas
I liked living in a duplex right across the street from my son's school. One more year and he'd go to high school, but for now this was very convenient. Outside we had no privacy and a tiny yard, but inside, the ceiling was high, and the skylights let in lots of light in the afternoon. I longed for open space.
On my way to church I'd pass by a little farm. The “For Sale” sign remained planted in the yard week after week. It was just an old brick house, but it had cedar beams in the front that reminded me of a chapel. Tall trees and a tire swing beckoned in the back. I spotted a sheep peacefully grazing in the golden meadow behind the yard. I had always wanted to live in the country. Why did I keep noticing it? Was God trying to tell me something?
One winter day I finally decided to call. No answer. The next day the sign was gone. Months passed, but it looked like nothing had changed. The sheep was still there. The owners hadn't moved. Finally, I put out a fleece. I told God if he wanted me to have the house, to let it come back on the market.
Soon it was for sale again!
The owners, Kari and Les, told me they had taken the house off the market in order to settle some legal issues. Now they were hoping to move to Colorado. They proudly showed me their little homestead. From the outside it looked small and quaint, but inside Kari and Les had opened up the dining and living area into one spacious modern room. Glass doors opened onto a sunny recreation room. The kitchen was updated with a stone floor, a cooking island, and stainless steel appliances. The wiring and drywall had been redone to make the house like new inside. It was a dreamhouse and it was expensive.
I couldn't help mentioning it to my daughter, Chrystal. A few weeks later, she and her husband Chris arrived from New Mexico. They wanted to see us, and they wanted to drive out to see the house, too. If they bought it for an investment they could let me rent it until they got out of the Air Force. They walked to the back of the pasture and looked into the old sheds. They stopped to pet the horse next door. Then we stood in the kitchen drinking sweet tea while the children played with the dog in the living room. It felt like home to all of us.
Chrystal said Chris needed some time to pray about it. After a week, she said they had decided not to buy the house. They just wanted to give me the down payment. They didn't want anything in return – no interest, no payback. Just a gift.
I protested, but they insisted. They felt like God wanted me to have it, and they were thrilled to be a part.
The numbers almost worked. Inside my heart, a small voice told me what to offer – much less than the asking price. I couldn't afford the monthly payment unless the price was lower, so I handed my written offer to Kari and Les with a smile and an earnest prayer.
A few days later, Kari gave me the bad news. They didn't feel they could negotiate with me. The offer was too low. She asked me what Chrystal and Chris had thought of the house. When I told her they loved it, she sighed and said they would pray about it.
I wanted to offer more money, but my teenage son said if they were praying about it we should just trust God and wait.
Two weeks later, I got the call. Kari said they had prayed about it and were willing to meet me halfway. They wanted me to have their house. I was so grateful. When we met at the house, we stood in a circle and asked God to bless Kari and Les on their new journey. We cried together and thanked God for this precious blessing. It's been two years, and we are so content here. I know that God has plans for us that we don't know about yet, but if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart.