Today was rough.
I found myself overwhelmed with thoughts, wants, and anxieties that had me dwelling in the past and the future – anywhere but here, in the present. And as you know, my motto for life right now is “Be Present.”
But no, today I was worried and irritable. I was shocked by the things that easily peeved me: a guy chewing an apple next to me on the bus, a girl making small talk at breakfast, a person walking slowly in front of me on the sidewalk. I eventually had to retreat to my room to get my thoughts in order. To let Him speak to me. I didn’t want to harm the joy I share with others by dwelling on my self-conceived notions of how His plan for my life should unfold.
Once in my room, I took out my journal and, with an angry pen, scribbled one phrase in bold letters:
IT IS ENOUGH!
Waiting for the answer to our heart’s deepest desire is frustrating! As it says in Proverbs 13:12,
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but fulfilled desire is a tree of life.”
Deferred means “put off” or “postponed.” Sometimes we have strong hopes for things that are far out of our reach, with no way for us to see the behind-the-scenes progress or inner workings of the situation. Even in that semi-blindness, though, we are called to wait, hope, and continue to follow His way. Yes, my heart feels sick at times. On days like today, I just want to scream to Him “It is enough! I’m tired of waiting; I don’t want to do it anymore!” But I know that only in Him will my true desire – not necessarily what I thought I wanted, but what He knows is best – be fulfilled.
Romans 15:13 says, “Now [may] the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Paul was specifically talking about hope in the good and perfect nature of Christ. I can trust in Him. I can trust His hand, His heart, His ways.
Even as I write this, I’m aware that it’s not always easy to apply this mindset. Even those who walk with Christ will sometimes feel the ache of hope deferred. In fact, this is a common theme throughout the old and new testaments. The Israelites waited hundreds of years for the arrival of the promised Messiah. The disciples waited for the return of the Kingdom He promised… they waited to be rescued from their jail sentences, or to see the salvation of the nations they ministered to. Hannah and Sarah waited to become mothers – their most desired dreams – and were disappointed when their dates of conception were postponed. Deferred.
It stings. It burns. And sometimes, it is enough. But we are not ruined, because the God of the Universe desires our good; He desires to bless us. He is enough.
So how to we put this into practical use? Psalms 37:4 gives us a hint.
Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.
The more we delight in Him, the more our desires will become like His. And He delights in blessing us with the beautiful things we may dream of.
Isaiah 40:29-31 also speaks of the goodness that the Lord promises us.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But they that wait on the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
I’m not afraid of hope anymore. My heart may feel sick at times, but I am renewed by the River of Life that will replenish my soul. So I’m going to try to direct my thoughts to my Father’s love for me, rather than focusing on how much I lack the earthly thing that my heart longs for. Let’s give him praises, friends. He is good.