“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick,
but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
“It’s been a beautiful day, hasn’t it, Mom?” My front porch provided a shady place for us to sit and chat.
Mom muttered an, “Uh, uh,” as she turned toward the road.
“Who are you expecting?” I hoped my question would return her attention to me. Her dementia had taken her far away, leaving her saddened.
She turned. Tears filled her eyes and a sigh heavy enough to take us both down a depressing road bowed her slumping shoulders.
“What’s wrong, Mom?”
Her lips quivered. Another sigh to gain composure. Then another car going by grabbed her away again. Her shoulders lifted – until the car passed. She stood and started walking away.
“Wait, Mom.” I hurried to stay with her. “What’s wrong?”
She stopped and turned my way. Her eyes begged me to understand. “I thought sure my mom and dad would come get me today.” She hesitated. “I guess they don’t want me either. I just want to go home.”
I gave her a hug and prayed for words. “Mom, you know that’s not true. Your mom and dad love you. If they could come today, they would. Maybe tomorrow. I know they will come for you as soon as they can.”
A flicker of hope brightened her eyes. Her smile told me she would hope, at least for a moment. She went inside to continue packing her things.
I saw firsthand how “deferred hope” makes the heart sick. Circumstances we don’t understand, don’t expect, or don’t like rob us of hope if we allow it. But when hope is renewed it generates new life in us. During Mom’s journey we often turned to God’s word – his promises saw us through each moment. They proved to be the seed of hope bringing new life to weary hearts.
Favorite promises can change with our circumstances. During Mom’s journey, one of my favorite was –
“FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME, AND WILL NOT TARRY.” Hebrews 10:37
The Lord gave me this promise when I asked him how long Mom’s journey would be. So, when a caregiver said Mom would be a long-term resident at the memory care facility, the whisper of the Spirit spoke hope, “Remember my word.” Twelve days after the nurse said those words, the Lord came for my mom. I don’t know if it’s theologically correct or not, but I tend to think her mom and dad were with Him.
No matter your situation, your pain, or your lack of understanding, you can know at the right time and place in just a little while, Jesus will come. He will not tarry. In fact, other promises tell us He is not far from us ever but walks with us through every trial. He is our hope.
You are invited to walk with me as we take a fresh look at some of God’s timeless promises and the hope – the sure hope his word plants in our hearts. I’m not sure how long this series will be, but along the way, may we find our souls renewed, strengthened and filled will life found in His promises.
What promise of God gives you hope for today?