Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Longing Fulfilled

In Proverbs 13:12 it says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life"

There were times in these last 5 years that I wondered if a longing would ever be fulfilled. I was too acquainted with hope deferred. I knew heartsickness. It seemed like one desire after another was awakened to be left unanswered. It hurt to awaken desire. Sometimes the disappointment was unbearable. In the midst of the struggles, my faith was tested like never before. Doubts that were hiding in my heart rose up to the surface. What did I really believe about God? What did I believe about how God felt towards me? Why did one longing after another go unfulfilled? Was it possible that a tree of life would ever emerge in my life? Was God holding out on me? I thought He wanted to give me the desires of my heart.

There were times I felt like I was fighting for my life, not in the physical, but in the spiritual. I came so close to giving up. Prayer after prayer left unanswered, or on hold, the ground was shaky. Would my faith hold strong? How do you continue to pray when it feels like you call God up, He has caller ID, He sees it's you and doesn't answer? How do you pick up the phone and call again? And what do you do with the verses that say things like "God delights in giving good gifts to His children"?

Why was I asking for these good, godly things that I my heart ached for to have Him say no? Did that mean I wasn't His daughter?

Somehow in the middle of the battles I found that mustard seed of faith to hang on and believe He was good, even when I could not see. 

He came for me. He rescued me out. He spoke tenderly to me of His faithfulness. He asked me to wait, to trust Him, to find Him to be enough. It was about my heart. It was about Him. 

Could I trust Him, even when longings were left unfulfilled? Could I still find Him good?

As I look back now, I am grateful that He waited. As hard as it was to be in that suspended place, as painful as the heartsickness was, I am glad He waited. I see so clearly now. Had He given those things I longed for at the time I had asked, it would have cost me, greatly. You see so much of my value was tied up into having those desires met. They weren't bad desires. They were good and godly. It wasn't the desires that were bad, but the motives behind seeking them. They would have become a crutch to me, giving me value, dependency, security and fulfillment. 

He knew that. He couldn't give them to me. He loved me too much. He wanted me to take refuge in Him. He wanted to give me value. He wanted to weed out anything that I would depend on. He wanted me to be able to enjoy them, not need them. There is a difference. 

I should not need anything but Him. He should be enough.

A much awaited longing was given to me today. It is so much richer, now. Because of the "not yet, I no longer need them to give me value. It is now, it can be a tree of life. So this is what that verse was talking about. How sweet is His love for me. Another sighting of God for my heart. How it must have hurt Him to watch me hurt, and doubt Him. All the while He was protecting me when I thought He had forgotten me. Oh, Papa, forgive me. I see now. It was love that made you wait. You never forgot me. You were protecting me. Thank you Papa, that you waited. Thank you for your great love. 

Oh the riches of His great love

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Be blessed,