“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” Romans 8:24-25 (the Message)
What a beautiful picture of waiting expectantly on God. The ESV translation says: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” When hope is targeted at something seen, it becomes desire, not hope. And if it is not the right time or the right object of desire, it is lust or envy. So many times I get “hope deferred makes the heart sick” wrong! I treat it like the verse says “desire deferred makes the heart sick.” I haven’t gotten what I wanted yet so my heart is sick. No, it is setting aside hope itself that makes my heart sick. It is suppressing the deep longing ache I have for something good because I am tired of waiting or worried I’ll never see it happen. We need to learn to hope. To sit in our longing, to allow it full force, but to give it to God.