As I began reading the story of Moses this morning, my mind immediately skipped to the frustration I always feel when reading about the behavior of the Israelites. I am often left baffled at what appears to be lack of faith. They see a miracle one day, and then worship another god the next. They see provision from Heaven, then ask to go back to Egypt because they are afraid of starving to death. When simply reading the story, it seems crazy…until this morning.
As I was pondering all the above thoughts, I felt the Lord stir me. “Hope deferred”, He said. They were hope deferred. Do you remember what scripture tells us about that? Let’s read it again.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
Now, your first thought may be, “Well, they were being led out of Egypt! They were seeing the promise unfold in their lives.”
While that is true, what is also true is this…the promise took a long time to unfold and met much resistance along the way. Take an honest look at your own life and compare it to theirs…have there been times when you’ve been marching out of your own captivity and toward the fulfillment of a promise only to hit resistance, and then just gave up and returned to your normal?
Be honest. I imagine we’re probably all guilty of this.
When the going gets tough, sometimes that old feeling of hope deferred floats back up to the surface and bobs in our mind like a buoy. Offering some sort of false comfort…”This always happens to me.” “I never get to see the goodness.” “I’ve suffered long enough.” “Why would God do this to me?” Tell the truth, have you had these thoughts?
I was shocked and convicted when the Lord spoke to me today, because here I am walking away from the Egypt of my own life and into the Promised Land; yet still when resistance hits, I have to fight away the thoughts of defeat. I am much quicker to fight them off than before and I can tell that I am stronger now, but they still come. I wonder if they always will, or if one day I will be so certain of the Lord that the enemy will simply stop trying to beat me up with them? I don’t know the answer, but as long as the defeating thoughts come, I must keep fighting back.
Hope deferred is like poison. Trusting in God, and believing His promise is life. I often find myself admonishing my own heart to not be an Israelite; to keep focused, hopeful and to always recount the many times that God has been faithful in my life.
God, please forgive me of any grumbling and complaining I’ve done. I DO trust You. Please help me to be more faithful to You. I am sorry for any time that I haven’t noticed a blessing. Please open my eyes and heart to always see when You are blessing me. Help my heart to overflow with gratitude every day and in every season. I love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes. From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. Proverbs 13:1-6