Tag Archives: tree of life

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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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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