"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life" (Prov. 13.12) has become another life verse for me. One biblical word for hope (used in Prov. 13.12) originally meant ‘backside’, as in, the backside of the moon or the other side of a coin. When you look at a coin in your hand or the moon in the night sky, you know another side exists, even though you cannot see it.
Hope is often equated with things that we cannot see, like the future. REALITY: There are times when God allows us to see only part of a picture. Paul wrote of this reality, “I only see through a glass dimly but one day, I will see clearly”. REALITY: There are other times when we say we have been given a promise from God yet, the promise is long in coming. Several people in scripture knew of this reality. David, the shepherd boy, had to wait to become king. Abraham had to wait for his promised son, Isaac. Hannah was barren for many years before the birth of her son, Samuel. Moses was in a 40 year preparation time before he would become Israel’s deliverer. The children of Israel lived in 400 years of silence before the silence was broken by the coming of the foretold Messiah. Jesus, seemingly, had a thirty year ‘waiting’ time before his official ministry began.
Why does God, at times, seem to be so S-L-O-W? I do not know. However, I am strengthened by words found in Habakkuk 2.3, “...revelation has an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. I am also encouraged by the promise, ”Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise” (Heb. 10.23). Proverbs 13 gives other practical instruction during ‘waiting times’. While waiting we are to: (1) listen with our ears to instruction (v.1)—be teachable, (2) guard our mouths—be silent (v.3), (3) starve laziness (v.4)—be disciplined, (4) develop a hatred for that which is false (v.5)-be lovers of truth, (5) allow righteousness within us to increase (v.9)-be Godly and, (6) steward wisely the money that we have been entrusted with-be financially smart.
I have more to say about,“a hope deferred” and “a longing fulfilled” but I close with this invitation. Look at the picture on this posting. Take note of the root system from which, the life of the tree exists. QUESTION: What are you deeply rooted in, that is, what is the source or tap root by which everything in your life flows from?