A few conversations with friends some months back (that’s how long I took to finish this post) revolved around the topic of hope, and a verse that’s not so familiar in particular popped up, intriguing me:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 (NIV1984)
The book of Proverbs records many observations of life, and this is yet another perspicacious description of this strange species called homo sapiens. I’m sure that many, if not all, have experienced this sickness of heart as we see our dreams and desires delayed. A hope deferred simply means having to wait, and since it makes the heart sick, it’s no wonder that we hate waiting! Sometimes our hearts falter and bodies weaken as we wait. Seriously, can’t the fulfilment of hopes come sooner?
Then a fresh pair of eyes helped me to see the issue as I wait:
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV1984)
ESV has the first line as, ‘but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength’. To hope is to wait, and the verse made me wonder what’s the end to my hope and wait. Was it for the Lord? Granted, this chapter is about the prophecy of deliverance of the nation of Israel from captivity, but shouldn’t our hopes rest in the sovereign God who brings all things to past? I thought I’m patient in waiting, in hoping for the arrival of my desire. This verse made me wonder, have I hoped in the Lord, in His goodness, His sovereignty, His timing, and His wisdom? But perhaps I’ve been placing my hope only in time, hoping in the fulfilment of dreams in themselves.