“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
If we could have our very own genie to tell us all we ever need to know…well, then we would finally be able to sit back with our feet up at the beach. But, life doesn’t work that way. The things we desire at times seem so out of reach. How do we attain them? Proverbs 13:12 says, we hope for them, even when it makes our heart sick. Because when the longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
READ MORE: Delays: God’s way
I remember when I was about eight years old, dreaming about going on an airplane. The thought seemed so farfetched. But each time I looked up and saw those mammoth birds in the sky the desire riled up within me. Who put that desire there in the first place? I would dream about being in the airplane and imagined the journey it would take to get me to another continent. Forget about geography, I envisioned the plane flying “up” in the sky. This brought me to question where heaven was, and could the plane take me there too? In time, I took my first, second, and third trip in an airplane before I was 10 years old.
A “longing” for something that you haven’t received can make us do the wildest things. Yet, we know that God has a time for everything. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” Ecclesiastes 3:11. We long for so many things: emotional experiences, sexual experiences, romantic experiences, material possessions, power, career opportunities, children…. the list goes on. All of which, our Heavenly Father knows that we need. And even better, He knows when we are able to handle those desires. Let’s be honest, some desires when they are attained, can send us the opposite direction of the altar.
But we long for them anyway, not really knowing the big picture: What it would feel like? What joy or satisfaction will it bring us? Will it really make us happy? I am struggling with these very same questions as I pour out my desire to God in prayer. What does He tell me? “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord“. Lamentations 3:25-26
The idea of waiting is not pop culture. Hoping is not a thing. But, when you are a believer hoping is everything. “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” Romans 8:25.
READ MORE: Navigating confusion
You can imagine my little eight year old self going to the airport, walking on the tarmac, climbing on the stairs and sitting in the plane. The feeling of satisfaction after years of longing….it is a beautiful feeling. I have loved airports and airplanes ever since. Today, I have travelled to several countries and with every travel experience, it makes me desire to do more of it.
I would like to say this is what it feels like when we allow our desires to sit in our heart for a time. We dream about it, imagining all the details, and can even feel it before it happens. This is what hoping is all about. This is why it makes the heart sick. Yet, do not give up hope. Because a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
I felt that writing this another article as we close out August may encourage us to keep on believing the desires God put in our hearts. The blessings are delayed, but keep hoping. The year is not over yet.