Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
This verse is on my mind often when Erin and I pray for certain things that are close to our hearts: children, when we were trying to conceive, family, etc. It has been on my mind a lot as we have been praying for provision to visit our families for Christmas. Being able to fly home for the holidays would be an outright miracle as the cost of travel to and from Tahiti is so high.
We have been asking God if this is His will. You see – we want Him to tell us now if this is going to happen later so that we don’t get our hopes up! Because getting our hopes up in regards to this and then being let down would be very crushing especially for Erin. “Just let us know now God if this is something we should even think about!!!”
But how do you pray in faith without getting your hopes up? Faith and hope are linked together!! If we think God is saying yes but we “get it wrong” then we are left in tears, and it is very hard to hear God’s voice clearly when so many emotions are involved. So, do we just not bother or just think because the money has not come in yet that it is a no?
After praying again together this morning we are still not sure what will happen, but we KNOW we heard God say at least one thing clearly: “rest in the Lord”. Does this mean “just rest because it will happen” or “just rest because I have something else”? I don’t know, but I don’t think that is what God was even talking about!!
What I know it does mean is “rest in the Lord not rest in circumstance”. You see God has taught me a LOT since 2012 about how bad circumstances should not affect my joy. He has shown me that my joy and peace can get to a place where they are so rooted in Him that they are not challenged by any negative, ever! Now He is saying the vice-versa is also true: my rest should be in the Lord not good circumstances. Circumstances are fleeting! We could have the greatest Christmas with our families ever only to come crashing back to reality a few days later!! Or we could come home from our vacation needing a vacation – has that ever happened to you? Putting my hope for joy in an experience, even a great one, is to put my hope in something other than Christ.
I need to learn to rest in Him not my surrounding or circumstances: good or bad. Only that way, if we stay here or visit family for Christmas, the holidays will be a source of refreshing and joy. He is what my focus needs to be on and how to draw peace, rest, and joy from Him alone. That revelation must come first. Otherwise, no matter where God had us spend Christmas, we would not receive the word properly and spend the holidays with the right heart focus.