Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. NIV
Hope deferred …
When I was worrying, that’s exactly what I was doing — deferring my hope. I didn’t have time for hope or optimism, I was too busy attempting to control my world and worrying about my inability to do so.
The Message paraphrases it, “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick.”
Boy, can it!
But often, my own disappointment comes from thinking something will happen a certain way. When it doesn’t I’m disappointed.
Hope, however, is an active verb. I can will myself to hope (in place of the verb, “worry”) even in the worst of times.
Because my hope is secure, in Christ.
I want to say something about that last part, too, “a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
When I was very worried, I wasn’t enjoying my time here very much.
Now, I am.
In my new world I do lots of things I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for.
Just last week, I met a friend for lunch. She wanted to go to one of my favorite restaurants that is next to a very large highway. There is a walking bridge across the highway. I’ve driven under that bridge for years. I’ve always wanted to walk across it. People rave about it. It connects one neighborhood to another. My husband has even ridden his bike across it, but, I’d never been up there.
Instead of crossing the highway by car and then spending 20 minutes looking for a parking space, I parked at the edge of the neighborhood at the base of the bridge and walked across.
It was a cold, windy, sunny day, and I enjoyed every minute of that walk. I enjoyed how the neighbors have worn a path to the base of the bridge, and that the ground is starting to thaw so the path is getting a bit soupy. I enjoyed how the ramp is engineered on a slow, wrapping slope, so that you don’t get winded climbing stories into the air.
I enjoyed watching and listening to the cars buzzing past below me. And, I enjoyed that the other end dumped me out just steps from the restaurant, much closer than I could have parked. It was a glorious experience, a longing fulfilled.
I once had a good friend who would often say, “You are easily amused.”
For a while, I suppose, I had lost the ability to be easily amused. I lost it in a sea of deferred hope. I was heartsick.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
That’s what I’ll think about today.