Originally written July 31, 2008
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick;
but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
I remember that as a child I hoped for many things. It seems that children are abundant with hope - for their desires, for special dreams, for their futures. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we lose a little bit of that hopefulness to a thing called reality. But have you ever hoped for something so badly that it hurt? You were literally heart sick?
Hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will happen. Maybe it was the salvation of a loved one or the prospect of a better job. Maybe you struggled to teach a child to read and hoped for the day that it clicked or maybe like me, you've desired the gift of another child. What would life be like without hope?
It hasn't been until recently that I truly understood the first part of Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick;..." I've been heart sick a lot lately, which brought me to asking the question, "What do you do when hope is deferred?" I'd like to share with you what the Lord gave me.
I know all too well what it is to teeter on the edge of losing hope. My husband and I have been married for sixteen years and throughout that entire time have battled infertility. Without straying too far from the topic, I will tell you that we waited for five long years before conceiving our first blessing, and another 3 1/2 years after the birth of our first daughter before we had a second pregnancy. As I sit here typing, I am reminded that the wait for pregnancy #3 has been a very long one indeed - nearly seven years. (as of this re-post, it has been 8 1/2 years!) Seven years that we have been praying for God to open my womb and give the miracle of life once again.
It has been said that when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on. That's where you'll find me - holding on. How about you? Have you come to the end of your rope of hope? Do you feel like you can't hold on one more minute? If so, I have some very good news for you. Jesus Himself is holding on to the other end of the rope, so look up and keep holding on!.
Whether the need is financial, physical, spiritual or family related, Jesus loves you and He cares about your need! He knows that you are heart sick, and He has not forgotten you.
Follow me to one of my favorite stories in the Bible and see how Hannah handled her heart sickness. I'll be in 1 Samuel 1. I just love Hannah. She is so real in her emotions. I'm sure you know the story. Hannah wanted to have a child so badly and it grieved her greatly that she was unable to.
What can we learn from Hannah?
- Hannah went to the One that could help her. (vs 10) She went to the Great Physician! Hannah didn't turn to friends or a support group because she knew that only the God of heaven had the power to heal her situation. Now, there's nothing wrong with earthly support but don't let that be your only support. Take your burdens to the Lord
- Hannah kept praising the Lord. (vs. 18 & 19) It says that Hannah wasn't sad anymore and worshiped the Lord. She knew that whether God ever fulfilled her hopes, He was still her God. Each one of us that knows the Lord Jesus as Savior got more than we ever deserved the day we got saved. Each day we live and each breath we breathe is a gift from God. I'm reminded of several ladies I know who are battling cancer and another dear friend that recently passed on from this world, leaving behind two young children. There is always someone worse off than we are.
So, in the midst of your trial, remind yourself to count your blessings and praise your Redeemer!
- Hannah had the proper motivation for her hope. She wanted a man-child that she could give back to the Lord. Be sure your hope pleases the Lord. It isn't wrong to hope that your child scores well on his standardized tests but it is wrong if you desire it so you can be full of pride about what a good job you've done. It's not wrong to want your husband to have a good paying job but if that job is going to take him out of church, that does not line up with God's Word. There's nothing wrong with hoping for a large family but if your motivation is that you can be seen of men, your heart needs an adjustment. Hannah's hope for a child was so that she could give back to her Savior. What is your motivation?
- Hannah chose to believe God. Psalm 37:4-5 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Did you read that promise? If we delight ourselves in the Lord, God promises that He'll give us the desires of our heart. I personally believe that if we are delighting in Him and our desires do not line up with His will, then God will change our desires. Our God is big enough to do that!
Is your heart broken today? Is your hope deferred?
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;....
Remember - GOD LOVES YOU!
©2008 Karen Owen
© Adorning Grace 2010