Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
Have you ever been in a season of waiting? Currently we are in a long season of waiting. I can attest to this verse first hand. Deferred hope can most definitely make the heart sick. Can you relate?
But that is only the first part of the verse. The rest of the verses promises that when a longing is finally fulfilled, it will become like a tree of life.
I can’t help but think of a tree in full bloom. Life-giving abundance. A tree that gives food, life, shade, protection. I like the thought of knowing that when a longing becomes fulfilled, the heart is no longer sick but full of abundant life.
When I read that verse, I also think of Christ.
Can you imagine how the world waited for Him in the time of His birth? For the Old Testament prophesies to be fulfilled that a Savior would come to save the world?
I wonder how many hearts were weary and sick as they waited and hoped to see their King.
Surely, Mary’s heart must have felt ill as she waited to feel the first kick in her womb to confirm that the angel’s words had indeed come true. That she would carry a babe – the one who would save the world.
Can you imagine the angst of Christ’s followers, who were certainly heartbroken, after the crucifixion? And then having to wait three days, resting only on His word that He would rise again.
I think of us today who know Christ and eagerly await His return to this earth. Oh, how our hearts can long for the day of the Lord.
On the flip side, I wonder what their hearts felt when they saw it come to pass. How did it feel when the angels appeared to the shepherds to tell them their Savior had been born? Did hope rise up like a tree in full bloom?
What about Mary when she was swollen with baby, knowing the world’s Savior would make an entrance as her son? When he arrived, did her heart burst with joy because the longing had been fulfilled?
And the disciples. What about them? When Christ appeared to them after they heard about the empty tomb, did their hope explode to new heights? Hope that would be necessary to carry them through the upcoming depths of agony they would suffer as His followers?
And what about us? I can’t begin to imagine what it will feel like to have that longing fulfilled to see Christ one day.
In the meantime, much like a pregnant woman who waits and waits and even grows weary and heartsick, we still hold on to hope knowing new life will make an entrance and that the longing will be fulfilled.
Regardless of what situation we find ourselves in today, we know we can trust the One who is for us. And one day when our longings are fulfilled, surely our hearts will burst forth like a tree of life. In the meantime, we keep doing the next thing. Hoping, waiting, trusting, & praying – knowing God sees us and our hearts.