Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Ps 13:12).
If you have ever had a hope deferred, you know how much heart-sickness stings. The person dealing with unwanted singleness, the couple struggling with infertility, someone longing for a new job (or just any job for that matter), the growing family needing a bigger house, the person hoping for a loved-one’s salvation…and the list goes on. We all have things that we hope for and when we have to wait—sometimes for a very long time—our hearts start feeling sick. We wonder why we have to wait so long when what we want is not something that is sinful or bad. But we don’t know the mind of God and the provision is not up to us, so we make our requests and we wait.
Then finally we get what we wanted, the satisfaction and bliss last for a little while and then… it loses its shiny newness. What we longed for didn’t turn out the way we had imagined, not that it’s bad but it just didn’t fulfill us the way we thought it would. So we long for something else…we want something else to satisfy us, to make us happy, to bring us joy. But receiving all the things in life that we could ever want will never satisfy that bottomless pit in our hearts. And that’s because we were not created to be satisfied in the things of this fallen, broken world. We were made for something more, as C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it:
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage.”
Fulfillment only comes through knowing, loving and serving Christ. When we are fully in His presence, rejoicing before His throne, ever to be with Him in glorious purity and wonder, then we will be completely satisfied. So let those insatiable longings that you have now remind you that you were made for something more.
(First posted for my friends over on Our Single Purpose)