Have you ever spent time waiting for something? I do not mean packages from amazon, or a call from a friend. I mean waiting, really longing for something; waiting for the right one to come along, or waiting to be healed, waiting to get pregnant, or waiting for a loved one to know Jesus. A waiting or longing that sits at our very core and the marrow of who we are.
Over 2000 years ago, the Israelites were waiting. They were waiting for deliverance, deliverance from oppression, from living under rulers who did not share the same beliefs they did. For 400 years they waited. And when their deliverer finally did come, some did not recognize him and some were possibly a little disappointed over what the deliverance looked like. I can imagine during those 400 years and even after there was a little disappointment, a little hope deferred…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
I thought of this verse recently as a friend was sharing their journey of waiting, and as I thought of my own prayers awaiting answers. What does it mean hope deferred, or to defer hope?
Defer: to put off (an action or event) to a later time, postpone.
Looking at this verse, I see when I push hope off or stop hoping; it leaves me with a heavy heart. When I can instead hold on to hope, and choose to trust even when I do not see the outcome, this hope will eventually bear fruit.
“But blessed is the man who trusts (to be confident or sure – be bold (make to) hope (put make to trust)) in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8
We like the Israelites are still waiting, waiting for answers to prayers and even more, waiting for Jesus to come again. If we can trust Him to be our deliverer, Jesus to be our hope, He will make sure our trust and hope bears fruit in Him.
“All our hopes and fears are met in Him tonight…” – Peace, Peace by Sara Groves