Monday, March 11, 2013

Proverbs 13:12 Please hold!

Is there anything more frustrating than waiting? Waiting in the wrong line at a store (and any line I’m in seems to be the wrong line)! Waiting on hold on the phone for customer service for ANY company while elevator music or a continuous looping message barrages your ear. Waiting for your plane to take off when you are heading home. Waiting in traffic when you are late for a doctor’s appointment, where you will continue to wait in a freezing exam room.

Once, when Molly and Emmy were little, we were waiting in line at a Sears counter. The salesgirl was taking forever to complete the transaction for the person in front of me. I began to huff and puff. Molly had a little friend who was with us, and when she saw me getting impatient, she looked up at me with her huge brown eyes and sang a song from the “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” album (a Christian children’s album that was very popular in the ’80’s - I’m dating myself here), and she sang this song, “Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you are impatient, you only start to worry. Remember, remember, that God is patient too, and think about the times when others have to wait for you!” If she weren’t so cute I would have belted her! :)

Sometimes waiting takes extreme patience. And sometimes it requires great endurance! When you are in the midst of a trial, waiting for something you desperately desire, waiting can make your heart sick. And that’s what today’s verse tells us:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12) 

The Message Bible puts it this way:

Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,

    but a sudden good break can turn life around.

Hope deferred requires endurance! Waiting for years to find a mate, or to have that baby you desire, or to finally be able to afford a home, or to hear the doctor finally say that the cancer is in remission. Or waiting to hear your husband tell you he loves you. Waiting to see your loved one finally come to the Lord. Hope deferred. This is the long-haul faith walk that builds our testimony.

I love what Jon Courson writes about this verse:

God makes a promise. Faith believes it. Hope anticipates it. And patience waits quietly for it. That is the divine pattern we see in the pages of Scripture. Abraham was called the father of faith. Yet the Bible says it was only after he patiently endured that he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:15). When the promise is fulfilled, however, what a joy it is. Even if it takes years, hang in there, gang. Be like Abraham and eventually your Isaac - or literally “Laughter” - will be birthed, as well. (Courson, Application Commentary: Old Testament, Vol. 2, P. 214.)

Hope waits even when the promise is not fulfilled in our lifetime. The book of Hebrews tells us that the heroes of faith did not live to see the Promised Messiah. Yet, they waited in faith that God would keep His promise!

What are you waiting for right now? Can you hold on? Your wait may require great endurance. Wait patiently. God hears you. He sees your distress. Your disappointment may seem unrelenting, but when God answers, you will rejoice and praise Him for His plan and His timing.  

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