“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12, NKJV)
Human beings are created to have hope. This should not surprise us, for God is a God of hope. A person who has no hope will soon lose the will to live. Hope that is postponed makes the heart sick. We keep hoping that our desire will be fulfilled, but it is put off again and again. The young woman who dates her boyfriend for years, but never receives a proposal, is sick at heart. But when he finally proposes to her, she is elated, and she tells all her friends. To her this is a tree of new life!
Is there something for which you have yearned for a long time? Maybe it is the salvation of a loved one. Maybe it is the healing of a chronic disease. I think of our desire to have a church facility of our own.
But sometimes God makes us wait. Think how long Abram and Sarah longed to have a child of their own. God made them wait until it was utterly impossible by human standards. God even changed Abram’s name from “exalted father” to “father of many” (Abraham) before Isaac was born! Likewise, God sometimes makes us wait to build our faith and to show us when it comes that it was the LORD who did it. The birth of Isaac brought laughter to this old couple. It was a tree of life, which yielded even sweeter fruit because they waited so long.
If you have hoped and prayed, but the desire has not yet come, then don’t give up. If God hasn’t told you no, then He likely wants you to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Blessed is the person who can hope in the LORD a long time and still be faithful. He or she will soon eat the sweet fruit of the tree of life—whether on earth or in heaven!