How to Find True Happiness – Psalm 37:4

I remember thinking I had everything I’d ever wanted. A doll stroller, a doll high chair, a toy ironing board. And a purse! My little brother piled up his Lincoln logs and snapped together his plastic train set in the middle of it all. Whether or not it was healthy for us, my family was inundated with Christmas gifts that had come through the generosity of our community.

The Sheldon kids 1962.
The Sheldon kids – 1962

My sister, scuffing around in her plastic high heels, carried a Wetsy Betsy doll that could dampen a tiny diaper. Through experimentation we learned to squeeze the baby bottle to make the doll drink faster, so we could squeeze her tummy to make wet diapers faster. The fun didn’t last long, however – we ran out of diapers.

The Promise

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

We want to think this verse means if we’re good people God will give us good stuff. That would be cool, right? But it actually says to delight in the Lord, not in the stuff. If we don’t then the happiness can dissipate faster than the ecstasy of tiring children or a limited diaper supply. It won’t last.

It’s All About Him

“He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 113:9 KJV).

Kathy with son Joshua. My father in the background - 1979.
With my firstborn, Joshua, and my father -1979

It’s God who fulfills my longings. It seemed like such a long time I waited to have my first child. I feared a pregnancy might never happen, and I determined to remain satisfied just knowing and following Jesus. After all, he is the one who answers my prayers. He gave me life, made my husband, and gives the ability to produce offspring (if he chooses to). He’s the author of my life and of my joy.

The Result

Have I received the desires of my heart? Yes, because what I desire is him. My hunger is to be near to him, to hear his voice, to be held by his hand. He is my joy. And he has kindly made me a joyful mother and grandmother of children. They do bring me joy, but they are not the source of it.

When relationships get hard or disappointments overwhelm me, I can still say my joy is in the Lord. He doesn’t change. And he is able to restore what I count as losses.


You are everything I want or need, Lord. Help me never forget your promises and your kindness to me. I love you, Jesus.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis