When Hope Doesn’t Come

 

 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:

but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life

.Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred: late, delayed, postponed, tardy, overdue.

What do we do when our hope is delayed, postponed, or overdue?

My last post was written with joy and anticipation because my newest grandson was on his way to Grandpa and Grandma’s house for the first time.  Oh, the desire came, and if that’s the tree of life—well then, the tree of life is a really wonderful thing!

However, the reason for the visit was so that our son could audition at Penn State University for their Piano Performance Doctoral program.  However, a week before that, he received an email stating that there had been an oversight on their part.  Because his undergraduate work was done at a university which was not regionally accredited, he did not qualify, EVEN THOUGH he was finishing his master’s at an accredited university.  In spite of all the phone calls from both universities and conversations with professors, they would not budge, and my hope was not only deferred, it was dashed to the ground!   My heart continues to cry, “THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!”

You see, that audition would have opened the possibility that my newest grandson (oh yes, and his parents :)) would only be an hour and a half from here instead of eleven hours.  I didn’t realize how much I had already placed them there until the crash came!

Well, what do you do?  For me, I wrestled it to the Lord, and submitted to the fact that they would be in Wisconsin, near my daughter-by-choice’s family.  That was good.  I was happy for them.  It could work out.  However, that was not to be either!  Lord, what are you doing?????

So, second wrestling came into place.  God wants them to stay in South Carolina.

Now we move to our other son, who lives twenty minutes from us—the one who is interviewing in SOUTH DAKOTA!!!  What is this, Lord?  Who moves to South Dakota?  What’s there that isn’t here? 

It seems as though the Lord has really been putting us through the paces.  I suppose the situation surrounding the writing of “The Darkest Day of My Life.”  is far enough in the past to now mention it. Back in November, our nightmare started when I was accused of child abuse while subbing in our public elementary school.  Then the family also filed a harassment charge. That all hung over our heads throughout the holidays, but, praise the Lord, the abuse case was concluded as “unfounded” and the harassment, “not guilty.”  However, I’m still not back to work, waiting on a decision from the school district.  It seems as though the saying, “Innocent until proven guilty” is really the opposite: guilty until proven innocent, and then we’re still not sure.  Hopefully, they will soon consider me an asset and not a liability.

Woe is me! Hope deferred.  And what do we do when “the desire” never comes?  We pray, but God doesn’t see fit to answer our prayers according to  OUR plan. Why does He do that?

This is what I’ve found:

  1. God is ALWAYS good,

  2. God is ALWAYS right,

  3. God ALWAYS does what is BEST for me.

Here’s an illustration which may help us to see the situation more clearly: We hear a crash. We see a column of smoke several miles away.  We look as hard as we can, but we can’t see what has happened! But, the man in the helicopter who flies overhead knows exactly what is there.  He sees very clearly, not only the column of smoke, but he sees the crash.  He sees the path of wreckage, possibly even the cause of the accident.  He can even see survivors!

Our view of life is so limited, but we serve a God who sees the whole picture.  He knows the beginning and the end and every step in between.  He even sees my heart and knows the idols that are there.  He is the Great Physician-Surgeon who can take the scalpel of His plan and carve it into my will.  It may hurt A LOT, but I CAN trust in Him!  AND I will choose to trust in Him.  Please know that there is no other way for you to live closely by His side and have peace in your heart, joy in your step, and strength to walk the path when it’s strewn with disappointments and heartaches.  Our God is GOOD!!!!

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 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell confidently) in hope.Psalm 16:9

 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.Psalm 31:24

 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. Jeremiah 18:12 YIKES!!! Lord, help me not to do this!

This I recall (make to return to my heart) to my mind, therefore have I hope.Lamentations 3:21

Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Acts 2:26 Look at the verses surrounding this verse.  They are part of Peter’s Pentecostal sermon:

For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 25-28

He IS Coming!!!!

Today!! He is coming today!  Today, I will see him.  TODAY, I will hold him!  This is the day that I’ve been waiting for for forty-one days, or nine hundred eighty-four hours, or fifty-nine thousand forty minutes.  Count it anyway you wish, but today is the day!  Today, I meet Caleb Thomas MacAvoy, face to face.  I’ve heard his cry, I’ve seen his picture, I’ve even facetimed his little face, but what is that but a very dim shadow of human touch?
Caleb is our youngest son and his sweet wife’s newborn, and he arrived on Christmas day!  What a joy! Because of several circumstances, we have not seen him yet. It really didn’t matter how much we wanted to see him, it just didn’t happen.  It probably could have happened, but life is full of choices, and no matter how much we would like for a circumstance to be different—a loved one suffering with an incurable disease, a wayward child, a stolen credit card—there are times when we must accept our situation as the will of God.  Does that make us like it any better? Honestly?  Probably not, but it does give us a sure footing amidst the storm of emotions which swirl around us! Of course, the challenge is there:

 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.Philippians 4:11

So, what am I doing to get ready?  In a moment, I’ll begin cleaning.  Then I’ll wash the dog.  I’ll save my favorite task for last: cooking!  I’ll bake a pie and slay the fatted calf (actually the fatted pig) and prepare for not only Caleb, but the beloved couple whom we haven’t seen since Thanksgiving.  Is this a happy day? Absolutely! Are we anticipating a wonderful weekend?  Yes!  Are there any trials surrounding their coming?  More than you can imagine, but today it doesn’t matter!  Today, they just keep getting closer and closer! All day, I’ll be playing that first moment of laying my eyes on my youngest grandson for the first time. And when it finally happens, I’ll probably blubber all over the place!

Jesus us coming.  And here’s the challenge, short and sweet because I’ve got lots to do!  Are you looking forward to His coming?  Of seeing Him face to face for the first time?  Can you even imagine it?  Does it send goosebumps down your spine just thinking about it?  Are you getting ready, because when He comes, there will be no more preparing.  This life, which He so graciously gave us, and then so sacrificially and miraculously redeemed with His own blood, will be our gift back to Him.  Everything we do with these hands, everywhere we go with these feet, everything these eyes watch and these ears hear is either preparing a better gift for Him or destroying it.

He is coming!

 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. Matthew 25:7,8

Don’t Forget the Milk!


I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:

for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1 Corinthians 3:2

Milk and meat—Paul uses these two food groups to describe different levels of Biblical learning: milk represents the baby steps and meat, the larger lessons which require bigger leaps of faith.

So, what are the milk steps of faith?  Well, obviously, the Christian life begins with the step of salvation, and although it is the first step, it is by no means a small one!  Salvation takes a giant leap away from the world and puts the believer into a whole new world—God’s world!  Yes, this is my Father’s world, but the world system is certainly the devil’s domain!  Salvation puts us on a lifelong path with our Savior, Jesus Christ. But what are the other baby milk steps?  So glad you asked!

Baptism is the next milk-step, and it isn’t for babies!  🙂 Baptism is a beautiful picture of salvation.  When a pastor meets a person of faith in the waters of baptism, that person stands before the congregation demonstrating what Christ did for him on the cross: Jesus died, was buried, and then arose from the dead, hence the need of water!

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

Does a person need to be baptized in order to go to heaven?  I hope not, or Jesus lied to the thief on the cross!  You don’t have to be baptized for salvation, just for obedience! …  it’s God’s way, and His way is always best.

Church membership—it’s not a man-made invention; it is God’s plan as well.  Today, the trend is to throw out traditional “organized religion,” and I can understand why as I listen to some of the stories of what goes on in some churches.  However, as the old saying goes: You don’t throw out the basket of apples because of a few rotten ones!  Why be a member of a local, Bible-preaching church? There are lots of reasons: commitment, fellowship, accountability, obedience, but most of all—the love of Jesus Christ.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Why would believers want to yoke up with God’s children?  Well, they aren’t perfect, but as another saying goes: If you ever find a perfect church, don’t join it or it won’t be perfect anymore! You don’t have to join a church … but it’s God’s way, and His way is always best.

“Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow!”  Milk.  Reading God’s Word is milk.  Talking to God in prayer is milk. They are both basic building blocks to having a successful Christian walk.  So often we try EVERYTHING under the sun to get close to God or to get answers to our problems except the one thing that really works: READ your Bible!!! Get your two best friends—a pen and paper—and dig in to the Bible!  Oh, it’s good stuff!  It’s the stuff heroes are made of.  And talking to God should be as natural as breathing.  The other day, I was putting away dishes and I almost dropped a glass.  The first words from my mouth were, “Thank you, God.”  Does He guide my hands even when drying dishes?  Well, if He sees the sparrow fall, I’d say, “Yes,” and “Praise the Lord!”

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?

and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  Matthew 10:29

You don’t have to read your Bible or pray … but it’s God’s way of communicating with you, and His way is always best.

Don’t forget the milk.  Heaven forbid that a Christian be lactose intolerant!!! A baby Christian is never born that way, but week after week of neglecting the milk can create this horrific situation!  Obedience … you don’t have to be obedient, but it’s God’s way, and His way is always best!

  Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the LORD?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22