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

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Oh, that blessed hope!

ID-100126475Awgh!  What a day!  Said good-bye to Nathan at 8:20; taught four lessons; headed for the high school for the Bible study; visited a family from church; and then taught two more lessons!  I’m bushed!  We had planned to go to a soccer game tonight to support one of our teens, but the schedule is just too full.

Why are we running ourselves ragged?  Do you wonder about life?  We are such a busy folk, so thank YOU for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my thoughts; I hope they are a blessing and an encouragement AND at times a challenge!

We all need encouragement and challenges; and our gracious Lord sprinkles the way with blessings to sweeten the load!  Let me share a ‘sprinkle’ with you:

One of the young men from our church attends BJU where our son, Nathan also attends, and he was coming home this weekend.  I told Nathan about it, but this semester had been chocked full. Working at the WILDS Christian Camp this summer as a counselor was an awesome opportunity, but it didn’t leave him much time to prepare for his senior piano recital (November 16th).  Plus, his choir is going on tour the first week in November, so I put it out of my mind that there was any possibility that he would be able to come.

On Friday, I was pressed for time, and after several delays, I was ready to get going when my husband said I needed to call Nathan.

“Hello, Nathan.”

“Hi, Mom.  Guess what I’m doing?”

“I don’t know.  What are you doing,” I said rather impatiently.

“You have to guess.”

  I could hear that he was in a car.  “”You’re on your way to Wal-Mart.”

“Nope, guess again.”

By then, I was really impatient.  “Well, it sounds like you’re in the car.”

“Guess where I’m going?”

At that moment, I lost it. I couldn’t answer, because my busy mind slammed into neutral as it registered that he was on his way home!   I couldn’t talk for crying.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

Ten verses in the Bible refer to the Tree of Life.  Most of us are familiar with the tree in the garden – that takes care of three verses in Genesis.  Proverbs makes four references: the one above, as well as three others, which proclaim that wisdom, righteous and a wholesome tongue are “the tree of life.” Then three verses in Revelation talk about this magnificent tree which will be “in the midst of the street…and on either side of the river…which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”  (Rev. 22:2)  Two promises are made to believers concerning this tree: he “that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life” (Rev. 2:7) and “Blessed are they that do his commandements, that they may have right to the tree of life…” (Rev. 22:14)

However, my focus today is on Proverbs 13:12.  My hope was deferred.  I had prayed and hoped that he would come, but the more I talked to him, the more I put that hope completely out of my mind.  BUT, when the desire came, I was truly overwhelmed!  The lesson for me is this: God gave me just a smidgen of a taste of the exceeding great joy and incomprehensible delight that we will experience when we hear His call to come home!  Our hope is sure, but we are certainly not delivered from this “body of death” yet! (Romans 7:24)  The battles seem to get fiercer each day.  Fellow soldiers are falling; some are weary of the battle while others just give in to the enemies many lures.  More and more we are called upon to “dare to stand alone for Christ.”  Oh, to hear the call!  Somehow, just knowing that it WILL come gives us the strength we need to carry on, looking forward to seeing Him face to face and working diligently to hear those coveted words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Are you looking forward to that “blessed hope?” (Titus 2:13)  Keep on keeping on!  And keep looking up!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13

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Hope Deferred

 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Proverb 13:12

When I got the email that the publication of Twelve Smooth Stones was pushed back to March, I experienced this verse first hand.  It seemed like I had waited forever for the August date and March was not even on my radar!

They had told me at that time that editing would start in late fall, and I anxiously waited to hear from them again, all the time thinking that instead I would receive a “dear John” letter!

Well, the editing has begun – hence the slow-down in blogs!  Sorry about that, but the dead line is just around the corner for the first editing.  How exciting!

Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive in this book project.  I must say that I am SO excited.  For so long, it just seemed like a dream, but now it’s a reality.

And isn’t that just how we will feel when we see our Lord in the air?  He will be there – really be there, after centuries of hoping and looking and waiting!  What a glorious day that will be!

Keep looking up!

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Dealing with Disappointment (Part Two)

 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”  Proverbs 13:12

You may have noticed that the countdown calendar is not on my blog page any more.  That’s because I just heard from my publisher that the date of publication has been moved back to March 2013.  That is very discouraging! FYI:

  • Feb 2011 – finished Twelve Smooth Stones
  • Mar 2011 – submitted the book proposal to Christian Manuscript Submissions.com
  • Jun 2011 – contacted by Kirkdale press
  • Oct 2011 – signed a contract with them
  • Mar 2012 – received the August publication date

Discouragement 101!  Hope has truly been deferred, and I apologize to you dear folks who seemed just as excited about the book’s publication as I was!

So what were my reactions:

  1. Unbelief – How could this be?
  2. Anger – How can they do this to me?
  3. Discouragement – Why am I even doing this?
  4. Doubt – Who do I think I am anyway – I’m not an author!
  5. Blame – Why did you do this, Lord?
  6. Refocus –

Why did God do this?  Do I know?  No.  Do I need to know? No.  I just need to take this opportunity to build my trust in Him.  He is my heavenly Father.  He GAVE me the book, so what He chooses to do with it is His prerogative, not mine.  Can you imagine a servant to the king, or an aid to the president telling him what to do?!  I get a better understanding of Nehemiah’s situation when he stood before the king, not hiding his discouragement.  His sad countenance caught the king’s attention and the Lord used it for good; but how quickly we jump over the phrase: “…Then I was very sore afraid,” (Nehemiah 2:2)

So what do I do?  Do I write a scathing letter to the publisher?  I may ask some questions, but the way I approach them must be in line with my faith in God.  His character must be seen in me, no matter the circumstances!

“…but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life”  This phrase is mentioned eleven times in the Bible: three times in Genesis, four times in Proverbs and Revelation.  It makes a fascinating study; however, I’ll just share Matthew Henry’s comments:

Nothing is more grateful than to enjoy that, at last, which we have long wished and waited for: When the desire does come it puts men into a sort of paradise, a garden of pleasure, for it is a tree of life. It will aggravate the eternal misery of the wicked that their hopes will be frustrated; and it will make the happiness of heaven the more welcome to the saints that it is what they have earnestly longed for as the crown of their hopes.

This has been a great lesson for me in trusting God.  I hope it is a help to you as well.

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