“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
– Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 54, Isaiah 55
Have you ever deeply longed for something that felt out of reach? It can be hard to have hope when the bills go unpaid, the kids are out of control, or you don‘t feel cared for, loved, or appreciated. Maybe it’s hard for you to imagine why the Lord wouldn’t grant your plea for a certain deep longing. Your desires may be perfectly godly, like meeting a Christ-honoring soul mate, becoming pregnant with your first child, or being granted a clean bill of health. These yearnings, as well as others like becoming debt free, or seeing an errant child come back home are all honest desires, and it can be hard to wait for them to take place. Perhaps you have become deeply discouraged at the distance between where you are today and where you want to be.
I’ve learned time and time again over the years that the creator of life is not finished with us, even if our hope starts to run thin. Think of your life as a garden or a forest. The Lord may be planting seeds below the surface that you cannot see, and you don’t have to have a green thumb to know that beautiful plants and trees do not appear overnight.
Remember that in his omniscient power, God knows far more than we do about what we need and when we need it. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV) provides a powerful reminder: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
In time, as I press forward and look to him, I witness a tender green shoot coming out of a seemingly dead situation. Then another, and before I know it, the burnt remains of my ideal forest are looking verdant and green! Time after time, my Father in heaven finds a way to turn my longings into “a tree of life!” Next time your heart is aching, imagine the Lord planting seeds in your garden, and let hope wash over you.
“The most difficult time in your life may be the border to your promised land.”
– Christine Caine
Be fearless: The Lord is not required to fulfill all our wishes, but he does make promises to us. John Piper says, “Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass.” God has promised to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6), give us rest (Matthew 11:28), and be with us in our trials (Isaiah 43:2), among thousands of additional promises found in his word. Our hope is in God.
by Julie Clinton & Dina Jones
Spend this summer growing closer to the Lord and becoming the fearless, strong, and faithful woman you are meant to be in Him! In Be Fearless, Julie Clinton provides a scripturally-sound guide for finding freedom, purpose, joy… and fearlessness. Exclusively offered by Extraordinary Women Ministries, Be Fearless is now available in our store! https://www.aacc.net/product/be-fearless/ We hope you will spend this summer growing closer to the Lord and stepping into the fearless, strong, faithful woman you are meant to be in Him.
Julie Clinton, MAd, MBA, is president of Extraordinary Women and host of EWomen conferences all across America. She is the author of several books including A Woman’s Path to Emotional Freedom, 10 Things You Aren’t Telling Him, and Extraordinary Women. She is passionate about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their children, Megan and Zach.