Hope deferred…

Parents… don’t you hate it when we allow ourselves to get our hopes up and then what we truly believed in, what we desired the most…un-explicably disappears… ARRGGHHH !!! And as much as we hate that when it happens to us, we hate it a thousand times more when it happens to one of our kids. Maybe a zillion times more, more than anything else it eats us up inside, relentlessly taunting us for ever daring to hope in something beyond us, for being so foolish as to allow ourselves or our kids to believe that a dream they have nurtured for months or years might actually come true, no matter how slim the odds…

Proverbs 13:12 (a) NIV "Hope deferred makes the heart sick,.."

It can lead us to really get angry, bitter…resentful. Angry at ourselves, at the circumstances we find ourselves in and at God. After all isn’t it God who “allowed” it to happen? Isn’t He supposed to be ALL powerful, ALL knowing and ALL everything in our life? In our kids lives…? That’s what we all say on Sunday at church and Wednesday night’s when we make it to the weekly bible study, or is it just a hope too?

Careful here.

There is someone right behind you… subtly pushing your buttons. Whispering in your ear and calling to your heart and it’s not God, or a friend or a confidant to listen to… it’s much darker and he’s a master at manipulating every emotion, every fear and frustration we have into a fever pitch of doubt and anger and faithless regret. Don’t surrender to his lies, don’t give up on God and don’t give up on your dreams. No way, No how.

The truth is we often make it so easy for him to manipulate us, we run after things and then ask God to bless it. Only to find it fails in the end because we lacked the courage to be totally honest with ourselves and God. Knowing deep down we pushed ahead of His will for our own and then in desperation we blame Him for our personal and selfish choices.

But what about the things you truly, completely and totally surrender to God… only to have Him seemingly give it back to us, perfect and beautiful and pure, we eagerly grab it and run to enjoy it…only to sense He’s asking for us to give it back to Him for just a bit longer.

The heartache, the suffering, the agony we feel when our hope is taken… is enormous, unbearable and crushing in its intensity. It threatens to consume us if we don’t pull back, distancing ourselves from the situation just long enough and far enough to get some spiritual air in our lungs and remember the truth about God, about His promises… to reflect accurately about our often premature assumptions on life, and our hope and personal dreams.

What is the truth?

No matter what it feels like, regardless of our ability to understand or comprehend what’s happening to us… the truth remains steady and sure… God loves us, deeper and more sacrificial than we can comprehend, the closest thing we have to grasp the depth of His love, is the story of Jesus and the cross, or Abraham and Isaac; who after a lifetime of waiting for a son, an heir… is asked to give his child up to God as a sacrifice, without explanation, without preparation, without any warning whatsoever… and he does it!

HOW COULD HE DO THAT ? Seriously, how could Abraham actually surrender willingly his only child to God, physically let him be taken to his own death and be o.k. with it? I mean we kind of get that Jesus being God and Man has the spiritual DNA to overcome, but how does a flesh and blood ancient ancestor of ours ever get to that level of hope in God?

It has to be Abraham’s overall Faith in the character of God’s goodness. Faith that comes from the reality of a lifetime of watching a personal God keep every promise, every detail, every dream, every hope and every desire for Abraham intact regardless of the circumstance or situation. It was a summation of Abraham’s life to simply say…  he trusted God. In the big, the little and all the countless in-between issues of life. Including and most certainly as it related to his kid.

Prov 13:12 (b) " but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" - courtesy of http://greatguys.org/stories

Time for us to wrap this up… I’ve struggled recently with one my kids being hurt by a bitter bit of hope deferred… and I’m helplessly watching from the sidelines as it’s making her heart-sick. But I know the God behind the promise to her, the truth of His character and the resolute strength of His power to make it all work out exactly as it was supposed to… but man as I wait in the in-between time of faith become reality… it’s hard. Really difficult to watch and trust that God can and will make something beautiful out of all this pain…

Hebrews 6: 13-18 “When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. ” (The Message)

But I choose to trust and believe that Hebrews 6 (above) is real and tangible for my life and my kids…and to keep trusting and believing that God’s words are true, and that satan is just a liar.

How about you…?

 brad.

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2 thoughts on “Hope deferred…

  1. This clinches it for me. You’re my long lost, much needed big brother who seems to be saying this time….”I’m a few steps ahead of you lil sis and you’re right on track.” I have, once again, just been working through this very thing! God’s unfathomable grace for my personal healing in the area of hope deferred and the authority to say to the angst of it all “It ends here!” have been at the forefront of my thoughts and prayers this past week. Who would guess that a mother of six could be so barren. It’s been rich, sweet, and powerful to be able to take so many steps forward, look back to see where I have been sitting in bitterness and rejection for so long, (ALL LIES!) and be overwhelmed with gratitude at what He has delivered me from and faith for what He’s leading me into. I know that God’s authenticity as a loving creator is without question and His desire is to give us all good things and form us into something beautiful. I can let go of the fear of walking through disappointment, failure and rejection with my kids and stop projecting the expectation of such when they attempt to pursue their dreams. So much of their lives I have imparted a sense of inferiority, distrust, and embittered entitlement to them, this is not beyond repair. I have already had several opportunities to recognize where I would normally speak out of that hurt and have been able replace it with authentic encouragement based on the character of God and His Word which is the seed I’ve already planted in them. They know where I have lived for so long and they can’t ignore or doubt the truth of His faithfulness working in my own life. I surrender to His will and choose to allow Him to complete the good work which he started in me. And because of that I can embrace them,( free of the sting of bitterness), with grace and faith through joy and pain while He shapes their lives. Thank you for sharing bro! God is very very great!

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