“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12 ESV
I sat alone in my car almost paralyzed and unable to go about my daily responsibilities. I had children to pick up from school, errands to run and dinner to prepare. But I could not move from that spot in my driveway. I released a screaming cry, the likes of which I’d never done before. I was angry. I was afraid. And I was letting God have it all. My husband had just been informed that we had 30 days until his company of 12 years was slashing his pay by nearly a third. We were days from Christmas and had just said “yes” to an overseas special needs adoption.
My heart felt sick. “How could you let this happen, God?” I asked through the tears.
My list of reasons why He couldn’t allow this to happen to us overwhelmed me to the point that I was struggling to breathe. A three year adoption process had depleted our savings. My mind reeled as I tried to come up with a plan, a solution, anything to cheat our situation and make everything ok. But I couldn’t. Uncertain times were coming and we didn’t have much time.
Let’s be honest. We hate uncertainty. In fact, we have been conditioned as a society and as a people to avoid it at all costs. Sadly, so much of the time the cost ends up being our own spiritual growth and a closer relationship with our Father.
Author Sharon Jaynes writes, “Our limited vision doesn’t allow us to see how God is working behind the questionable scenes in our lives, but we must believe that He is. In fact, it may be precisely in the moments we understand Him the least that He is working the most.”
God was indeed working. What I failed to see in the midst of that sudden tsunami of uncertainty was that my loving Father was not caught off guard by my circumstances.
He knew it was time for me to grow and this time of uncertainty was the way to do it. We don’t like to hear it, but sometimes uncertainty and discomfort are the only way to reach our stubborn or distracted hearts. Such was certainly the case for me.
We oftentimes incorrectly read into our situations of discomfort or uncertainty and assume God is punishing us but what if we considered the thought that God loves us too much to allow us to remain where we are?
For me, I had to learn to love the Giver more than the gift and seek the Provider more than the provision. I had to let go of my plans and assumptions of what I thought His will was.
I had to hold fast to my hope – not the hope of what I wanted – but rather, my hope in Him.
God did provide. My family’s needs were met but greater still, my true longing was realized.
My hope was deferred until I understood my longing was misguided. I saw only the temporal.
I experienced renewed life when I finally understood my relationship with Him was the greatest reward. My faith grew. The rest simply did not matter.
Yes dear friend, even when life is uncertain, you can still have hope. Our God is not surprised by your circumstances and His plan is always for your good. Not good as we define it, but His good that is above and beyond all we could ask or think.
If you are facing uncertainty today, I pray you will release your question of “why” and simply lean into your loving Father and ask Him to sustain and teach you as you walk in step with Him through your situation.
He is good and faithful to do so!