Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hope Deferred

It hurt, because they didn’t understand it.

Kyle and Heidi—my son and daughter-in-law—had wanted children for a long time. They eagerly anticipated their first, and assumed it would be easy. But it didn’t happen. Not for months. Then, not for years. They yearned for one; they ached to hold a baby that together they had created.

Each time they came home to visit it seemed that one of our family was either expecting, or had just delivered a baby. As much as they rejoiced for others, they longed for it to be their turn. To announce. To wait. To meet. To rejoice. To love.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick…(Proverbs 13:12a). They experienced the truth of it. Every month they hoped. Every month the hope went unfulfilled. The doctors could find no reason for their inability to conceive. But five years went by. Then six. Then seven.

They clung to God’s promises: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this” (Psalm 37:4-5). They leaned on Him when they grew weary, and reminded each other; “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). But it was so hard…

They wondered if they were they doing something wrong. They knew God always answers prayers, but they also knew that sometimes He says no. Over and over they took their sorrow to the Lord and laid it down. It just didn’t make sense to any of us, because Kyle and Heidi would be the kind of parents every child should have; parents who love Jesus and would raise their kids to love Him, too. They knew God might continue to say no, because He said…

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”                                                Isaiah 55:8-9

Still, they dreamed, and did not lose heart. They continued to ask, to seek and to knock (Matthew 7:8). They held on to hope when some of us struggled to.

Today, Heidi is 22 weeks pregnant with their little girl. No extraordinary measures, just their own miracle. Every little movement Heidi feels is a reminder of God moving in answer to their prayers, and every sonogram is a picture of God’s grace to them. This little girl has no idea how lucky she is, but Kyle and Heidi definitely know that is God alone who blessed them with her.

 Kyle and Heidi

It’s true, “Hope deferred makes a heart sick, BUT a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”! (Psalm 13:12)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.              James 1:17

Further reflection:

1. Do you have a dream that is still unfulfilled?

2. How is your relationship with the Lord doing while you wait?

3. Knowing that God sometimes says “No” to what we ask for, what would your attitude be if your dream never came to fruition?

Father, You alone are sovereign. You rule over all, and control all things. Thank You that in Your mercy and grace You saw fit to grant the desire of Kyle and Heidi’s hearts, and bless them with this little girl. May she grow strong and healthy, so she may live to recognize and recount the miracle of her birth. May she bring great joy not only to Kyle and Heidi and those of us who already love her, but to You above all.

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