Hope deferred makes the heart . . . more hopeful?
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Can’t you just see the owner of this lollipop? I can imagine the little tyke walking along happily, rolling the sweetness around their tongue and then, oops! The sadness creeps over their face, the lip pushes out, and likely a wail escapes as the disappointment sinks in.
I’ve felt like that before. I have enjoyed the sweet anticipation of a new thing in my life, looking forward to the last satisfying crunch only to have it fall into the dirt inedible. Disappointment can be excruciating, especially when what we are hoping for is a long anticipated dream. The loss of it can feel like we are being deprived of our very life. We may even feel teased by our Father and question His intent for us.
The reality is we were never promised some of the things we crave most. Marriage, kids, our dream home or career. It’s not wrong to want those things and ask for them. They are good gifts from God. But sometimes God, for reasons unclear to us, does not fulfill those desires how or when we would like.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
This is what the ancients were commended for. . .
“ All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. . .
“Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:1, 2, 13, 16
His intent for us is far greater than we can even begin to imagine. And, like the “ancients” we read about it in scripture, His purposes stretch beyond our individual stories into the bigger story of eternity. And so do our desires, even though we often only feel the desires we see available on earth. The lollipops we desire in this life are little tastes of heaven, foreshadows of the delight in His presence we can’t even begin to wrap our hearts around. Those eternal promises, beyond this life and secured for us in Christ can never be lost.
Hope deferred can make a heart sick for a time, but it can also make it more Home-sick and deepen our desire for the One Who is truly our life. He will come. He will satisfy our ultimate hope for Life forever.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared
for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Photo and text copyright Jennifer Brukiewa