Anyone experienced in “waiting on the Lord” understands all too well how true the first part of Proverbs 13:12 is: “hope deferred makes the heart sick”. One may receive a promise from the Lord however did not receive His time frame in when that promise would come to pass. During that waiting period the heart may become discouraged, depressed, sick. One may be tempted to stop waiting on the Lord and make something happen! Abraham is a great example of this. He was promised an heir from his loins, yet as time passed it seemed pretty unlikely that this promise would come to fruition. Sadly he took matters into his own hands (prompted by his wife Sarah) and produced an heir outside of God’s will (BTW, this is never a good idea!). God in His mercy and faithfulness still blessed Abraham, and now all who believe in Christ are the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”… Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”
Wow! Here was Abraham, just wanting a son. You know, someone to carry on his name. But God was promising him NATIONS! God was seeing the bigger picture while Abraham’s view was limited. Abraham’s desire was more selfish and self-centered. “God, just fulfill my desire!”, His heart was probably crying. But God not only wanted to fulfill Abraham’s desire with one son, He wanted to bless Him with MANY sons! So many that they would outnumber the stars of heaven (that’s us folks).
How often do we limit God with our desires? How often do we grow frustrated with the waiting for the desire of our hearts to be met? We become selfish, angry and doubt Him, even though He has proven Himself over and over again.
My good friend came to me the other day and asked “Nicole, have you ever been in love as a Christian?” I was a little surprised by his question but had found out recently that he was seeing someone, so I kind of knew where this was going. I hid a smile, and gave him a summary of my testimony in this area. He then shared that he was in love and had declared it to his significant other just the night before. They are head over heals, knock your socks off, in love. This friend is 38 years young :-), has not been in love in decades and had fallen into hope deferred in the area of relationships. His 13 years of singleness has been one consisting of many ups and downs and I have kept him lifted before the throne consistently. But now he was experiencing the tree of life. As we ran our errands that day, he couldn’t sit still. He was almost skipping down the street and every other sentence was about his newfound love. I was elated, feeling as if it were my very own desire that had been met. His time had come and I was so blessed to witness it.
And this is not the only example I’ve seen of God fulfilling our desires.
I have another friend who waited 6 years before she and her husband were blessed with their little one. Another friend who was promised that she and her hubby would start their own business; it took 20 years to come to pass. My own fulfilled desires consist of various job positions, healing from heartbreak, receiving my MBA, becoming an entrepreneur and writing my own book (I’m in the editing phase as we speak).
God is faithful.
This journey with Him only reiterates His faithfulness. And just as with Abraham and Sarah, His promises to us are so much bigger than just us. They are for the generations and the nations. So next time you’re feeling hope deferred, remind yourself of how great the God that you serve is. Know that the love He has for you is IMMEASURABLE and He’s just waiting to pour all that love out on you in the form of His promises.