Previously published 6/3/2013

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” – Proverbs 13:12

I love fairy tales. I think they touch the deepest part of our hearts that always wish for the best, for the impossible. They give us hope. Some may see them as silly stories or indulgent flights of fancy, but for me, they reflect the God-given desires that live within each of us.

In most fairy tales, there is an element of wishing. Sometimes it’s a wish upon a star or in a wishing well. But, the theme is the same, the hope for something beyond what already exists; a desire for something more. As a follower of Jesus, I believe those desires are planted in our heart by God, our Heavenly Father. He has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and created us with purpose and called us accordingly (Romans 8:28). So, when the time comes to make a wish, I send up a prayer instead. I ask for the fulfillment of the desires He has given me.

Sometimes, though, that hope is deferred. Things don’t happen in our timing, but in His. It’s hard to wait. It’s hard to stand in the darkness, believe the light is coming, but see no evidence of it. It doesn’t make sense to our human minds. That’s where faith comes in – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)”. But, in the waiting, we have to fight the loneliness, the heart sickness, and the deep, deep longing. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus in order t keep afloat until the rescue comes.

I’ve been waiting and wishing for a long time for God to fulfill the desires of my heart. I believe that He has asked me to wait for the man he will give me as a husband. After years of waiting, and not knowing what really was ahead, my heart longed deeply to see that desire fulfilled. My heart instinctively prayed for this man at the sight of every shooting star, every wishing well, and birthday candle. It was planted deep within me.

In the last year, my dreams have become reality. In five weeks, I will marry the man the Lord has prepared for me. I can look back over the last fifteen years and see the purpose for the waiting. I can see God’s hand in our journey, and I now know that what I hoped is true – God’s timing is best. He has planned this perfectly for us.

Last week was my birthday. My fiancé took me to dinner and gave me a gift that blessed my heart. It was a wonderful evening. When the birthday cake came, carrying its candle full of wishes, I reached into my heart for my birthday wish. And, for the first time in years, I didn’t know what to wish! I am living the second half of Proverbs 13:12 – “…a desire fulfilled is a tree of life”! It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t because I wished on stars that I am living this blessing today; it’s because God is good and His plan for us is perfect. It’s humbling and overwhelming to walk in His way and receive the fruits of obedience.

Are there wishes in your heart? Has your hope been deferred? If your heart is sick and full of longing, look to Jesus. Hold onto Him in the waiting. God loves His children and wants to give us good things. He doesn’t defer our hopes forever. Hold on. The morning is coming – and it’s really beautiful.

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