“My days have passed, my plans are shattered, even the desires of my heart.”
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life.”
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.”
13 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”
Perhaps nothing stings more than the reality of a hope that is dashed or a dream that is unfulfilled. You were so close to your goal, and then suddenly it is gone. Or the plans you had for your life have seriously been altered, completely shattered because of circumstances beyond your control.
Why is it so disheartening? What is it about a dream crushed that causes disillusionment? I use a GPS most of the time I am driving. My husband does not. If he gets lost, he just works to figure it out. I, on the other hand, begin to wonder if the world will end – I am lost – what do I do? I want to be certain where I am going and the uncertainty causes concern and insecurity. That is where faith comes in.
The great heroes of the faith did not always get in their time-frame what they were promised. They desperately wanted to see their dreams or promises fulfilled, but they learned precious lessons while waiting. Patience and trust cannot be earned by merely being taught, they are instead caught through endurance.
Perhaps the terrain looks a lot different than you thought it would. Maybe you are on the correct path, but in God’s sovereignty, your destination is going to take longer to get to. The character or tools needed for that assignment need to become part of you, before you can handle the plans God has for you.
But our souls cry out, how can destruction or pain be God’s best? I honestly do not know or fully comprehend how God does it, but He does use every part of our pain for good. Perhaps your hope or delight was in that dream, and seeing it as your end or goal, rather than in God and seeing it everything as part of God’s plan and surrendering our way to God’s best.
When it seems like there is no more joy, no more hope, that is where faith comes in. Placing our hope in God rather than on the temporary fulfillment of this earth is perhaps the greatest treasure learned when our longings are not fulfilled in the timing or way we wanted.
Lord, help us to trust you when things look vastly different than we thought they should. You know best.