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Intersection Column | How Do We Delight in the Lord?

by Patricia Bradley

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 has been “my” verse since I returned to writing after an eight-year absence while I worked with teens in an abstinence program. I sign all my books that way, and it’s on my website.

Then while I was writing Counter Attack, someone asked me what it meant to “delight yourself in the Lord.” They went on to ask, “What if I desire something out of God’s will?”

I had to stop and think, and that isn’t good. Peter in his first letter tells us to always have an answer ready for the hope that’s in us, and I should have had an answer at my fingertips. I knew what it meant, but how did I tell someone else?

We went on to talk about something else, but the question stayed with me. After spending a night thinking on the question, God gave me something I could share with my friend. When we talked again and the subject came up, I asked her why I’d never given her a yellow shirt.

She gave me an are-you-crazy look. “You know I hate yellow.”

“In other words, I know you really well, right?”

When she nodded, I said, “How did I get to know you so well?”

Without batting an eye, she replied, “We spend a lot of time together, talking, having fun.”

I told her it was the same way with God. When I spend time with Him, in His Word or prayer or just talking—delighting in Him, I learn what He desires for me. Often as I study His Word, my desires change, aligning with His. So, when I delight in the Lord, He gives me the desires that He already knows I need. He would never give me a desire that was against His will.

But…can we misinterpret what His desires are for us? You bet! While I was waiting for publishing doors to open, I wondered if perhaps I had misunderstood God. I’d felt God had sent me this desire to write, but years went by and my novel submissions were coming back by return mail. Had I misunderstood Him?

I began to pray that if God hadn’t given me this desire to write, would He please take it away? He never did, and I continued to learn the craft and write. In 2012, I received an offer of publication. I was over the moon thanking God for bringing it about, even though it took years. Years that I spent learning the craft of writing. I often tell audiences that if I’d been published any earlier, I would be so embarrassed because my work wasn’t ready, and I wasn’t ready.

If you’re in that waiting period, keep on learning the craft so you’re ready to walk through that door when God opens it.

But sometimes we can want something so badly that we think God gave us that desire when He didn’t. That’s what happened with Alexis Stone, the heroine of Counter Attack. Alex, as most people call her, wants to be the first chief of police in Chattanooga. Everything she’s done for the past eight years has been geared to that goal…except ask God about it. She figures she wouldn’t have this desire if He hadn’t put it in her heart.

But then her grandfather, the sheriff of Russel County, Tennessee, has a heart attack, and he asks her to come home to Pearl Springs as his chief deputy. Returning to Pearl Springs is not on her bucket list! But her grandparents raised her and she can’t say no to him. So, she reluctantly returns, but doesn’t intend to stay one day longer than she has to.

While she’s in Pearl Springs, Alex learns to depend on God in ways she never imagined, but ways that deepen her faith. Her desires slowly begin to change and line up with God’s desires. That’s all I’m going to say about that—you’ll have to read Counter Attack to find out.

So, remember that everything is in God’s timing. He’s never early, never late…always on time!


About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Patricia Bradley is a romantic suspense Selah and Reader’s Choice Award winner.She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home—the South is also where she sets her stories. Her latest, Counter Attack, is set in the Cumberland Plateau around Chattanooga and released May 16, 2023.


About the Book

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again—this time in her hometown. Chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that Alexis is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving.


Did You Know?

Christians are losing their understanding of a Christian worldview. Meet Me Where I Am, Lord is a 90-day devotional to reintroduce you to the Scriptures that taught you what you believe and why.

  • Scripture is timeless. Regardless of the season of life you are in, Scripture applies. We simply have to remember the joy in Scripture and add it back into our lives.

  • Scripture grounds us. It is proof that God is unfailing, unchanging and faithful.

  • Scripture bonds us to the Father. It is His words to us. His guidance. His place to call us back to Him. It’s time to reconnect with the Father and remember why we believe what we believe. Scripture does that.

Inside Meet Me Where I Am, Lord, we’ll re-address a Scripture that will re-open your heart to the God who never leaves your side. Then you can grasp hold again, solidify your Christian worldview and never let go.

-Cindy K. Sproles, Meet Me Where I Am, Lord


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“One reason I love bookstores is the inspiration and wonder of walking the aisles of book after book, seeing the covers, reading the backs and then picking one (or more) to take home like it's a carefully curated prize.”

-Danielle Grandinetti, Confessions to a Stranger


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