When Hope Is Deferred

Hope deferred

Have you ever had to rush to an emergency room (ER)?  You go up to the receptionist to provide her with the details of your emergency, but she tells you she will be right with you.

After 10 minutes, she hands you a clipboard to fill out your medical life history and asks you to take a seat.

After 20 minutes, you still aren’t finish with the paperwork, but the intake receptionist asks you to come back to the window because she needs to make copies of your insurance card.

You finally finish the paperwork and you see a nurse come out five times to call everyone else’s name but yours.  Now, it has been an hour since your arrival in the waiting room and you’re beginning to regret leaving your dinner out that you cooked but wasn’t able to eat before you left the house.

Your stomach begins to growl, so you decide to take a walk to the snack machine that is not in the waiting room, but located on the other side of the hospital in the cafeteria area.

While you’re gone, you say a small prayer to ensure the nurse doesn’t come into the waiting area calling your name and thinkig you left because the wait was too long for any logical-thinking person.

When you return with your $2 candy bar, you politely ask the receptionist if the nurse called your name.  She simply says no.

Each time the nurse comes into the waiting room, your hope increases in intensity that, this time, she will finally call your name.

But she doesn’t.  At least not for another hour.

Your hope begins to deflate like a balloon that’s seen its last days and your patience is wearing as thin as the paint on the waiting room’s wall.

You ask “Dear God, how long will I have to wait?”.

And by the time she finally calls your name, you have to remind yourself that you are still a Christian.

Although the story is exaggerated (a little), sometimes waiting on an answer, a blessing, a miracle, or a healing from God can wear you out.

Like the anxiousness and the hunger pains experienced by the individual in the waiting room, we too may experience discomforts in our bodies and anxiousness in our minds.

We may begin to ask God “Dear God, how long?”

The bible says in Proverbs 13:12Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

During these times, the enemy will try to plant seeds of doubt and fear in our hearts and minds.  “Did God really say He was going to bless you, heal you, etc?”.  “What if God doesn’t come through for you?”

But no matter what the situation or how long the wait, we must stand firm on God’s Word.

We have to remind ourselves that God is with us, even in the midst of our season of waiting.

I have gotten to the point in life where I tell God that I would rather be in this season with Him than without Him.  When I think of the alternative, going through life’s trials without God, I can’t imagine what my life would be like.

Besides, where will I go?

The enemy tried to plant a seed in my mind to convince me to give up during a trial I’m currently experiencing.  But I, in turn, said out loud “give up and go where?”.

Where would I go?  What would I do?  God is all around me, so why give up or who would I give up to?  Everything that I am is in Him.

As my pastor stated before, “I’m all tied up, wrapped up, and tangled up in Jesus”.  So where would I go?

Either I trust Him or I don’t.  I became more determined to praise Him and thank Him for who He is.

I was in my kitchen doing dishes and declaring God’s Word over my life. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good of reminding God of His Word.

No, He hasn’t forgotten me.  But I like to let Him know that I am eagerly listening to His Word and promises for my life. Concurrently, I began to decree and declare His Lordship over my life.

Suddenly, a peace came over me that God has me, right in the palm of His hands.

I was reminded that His ways our higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.  Therefore, even though I may not know the when or the how, all I need to do is to continue to trust Him because He knows all and He knows what He’s doing.

No pressure.  Because, it’s all up to Him now.  Either He is who He says He is or He’s not.

I believe that He is!

God promises to give us peace that surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7) .  We can’t get this kind of peace without God.

The bible calls Him the God of peace multiple times.  Additionally, the bible calls Him the God of Hope.

The enemy hates when we stand firm on God’s promises. By doing so, we stir up our faith, which in turn stirs hope within us, and gives us sweet rest and a spirit-filled peace that’s only known in Him; the God of peace and hope.

It amazes me that hope and peace are not symptoms of knowing God, but are instead derivatives of God.  He is the author of hope and of peace.

Therefore, because we have Him, we have hope and we have peace.

Vine’s Dictionary describe hope as (see below):

HOPE:  it finds its expression in endurance under trial, which is the effect of waiting for the coming of Christ, 1 Thess 1:3; it is “an anchor of the soul,” staying it amidst the storms of this life, Heb 6:18,19;
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

In conclusion, as Proverbs 13:12 states, when hope is deferred it can make the heart sick or grow weary. But the second half of that verse states, but when the desire cometh, it is like a tree of life.

Even if the desire doesn’t come, trust God.  He knows what He’s doing and He may have something better in store for you, in due season.

Also, remember that God will fight for you and is on your side in every situation.  In Exodus 14:14 the bible states “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace and remain at rest”.

We also have the Comforter, to help us during our time of need.  He counsels us, comforts us, and guides us.

And finally and just as important, don’t forget that we have The Great Intercessor, Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, pleading on our behalves.

No matter the situation, We Win!

May His love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.


18 thoughts on “When Hope Is Deferred”

  1. Amen! Thanks Marilyn for this reminder, I totally agree with you that we need to learn to TRUST Him because He knows what is best for us and His timing is perfect! Thank you for sharing. Do have a lovely weekend my sister. God bless 🙂

    1. Carrie, I have been guilty of creating my own plans as well. However, when my plans don’t work, I used to get mad at God like it was His fault somehow. Thanks for stopping by! God bless you.

  2. The waiting season never feels good. It test the true character within us. During that season, the enemy will raise his ugly head and try to discourage us. However, when we remain grounded in the word, nothing can stop us from experiencing that next level of trusting God.

  3. I read and quote one of the touching sentences ‘We have to remind ourselves that God is with us, even in the midst of our season of waiting’..This write up is a blessing.

  4. Thanks for the post. Gods ways are higher than our ways and there is always a reason for delay. We may not know why, but it always for our own good. It pays to wait for God. Your statement made me laugh “And by the time she finally calls your name, you have to remind yourself that you are still a Christian.” Very funny!. patience works out experience and experience hope. God bless!

    1. Amen…so true Joanna! This experience is very humbling for me. I am definitely learning some things during this time. But I’m trusting God through it all. Many blessings to you!

  5. Lovely thoughts, Marilyn — and your e.r. waiting room story is NOT exaggerated!

    Like you, I’m pretty good — through practice — at reminding God of what He says. As I’m waiting, and have been waiting for a significant time on a particular matter, I have also just asked Him things about various verses that I’m reading: What does this mean? What are You saying here? I don’t understand this.

    I am amazed at how He leads me to elucidation on different verses (although not on some that I keep putting before Him — I’m thinking that the whole thing will wrap up someday into a neat package that will make sense).

    It’s hard waiting. But it very much appears to be a part of the Christian walk.

    1. Carolyn, I guess I’m not the only who has experienced the extended waiting room wait. I like how you redeem your waiting time by asking God to clarify different verses. It’s a good practice to incorporate into my reading time. Thanks for commenting and for stopping by. Many blessings to you.

  6. A very timely word Marilyn. I’ve gone through a myriad of emotions as I’ve been in the midst of my season of waiting but I always come back to I know the times and seasons of my life are in God’s hands.

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