Hope deferred is a sneaky thing. We don’t understood hope. If we did, we’d know why it’s so sad to have it detoured. Hope is confident expectation. It is a promise based on God’s faithfulness. It’s like a birthday. Our five-year old granddaughter knows her birthday is coming. In fact, her next birthday is coming before the cake crumbs are swept from the kitchen floor and the inflatable castle is stowed away. Her mom might be exhausted after entertaining the covey of little princesses, but Gracie knows another party is just around the corner.
The book of Hebrews tells us not to throw away our fearless confidence. I can understand many commands in the Bible. I can understand don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t murder with your mouth or run with those who do! But why does he care if I’m confident? Isn’t wishful thinking a little more humble?
He tells us why. Confidence is powerful. It has the ability to produce in a big way. (Hebrews 10:35). The real kind of confident expectation is based on promises from a God Who can not lie. It isn’t that He chooses not to lie. He can not lie. Lying is contrary to His nature. Hope is anchored in the integrity of our unchanging God, whose love doesn’t waver or wane with changing times.
Hope deferred is hope put off for another day, another time, not for today. Before long, another day becomes never and I lay hope down completely. When I lay hope down, my dreams fade. I learned recently that the words “create” and “dream” come from the same root. If I don’t dream, I don’t create. Creation doesn’t happen outside a dream or outside of the hope that fuels it.
When hope fails, dreams and their power to create are quenched. We don’t see it as a big deal. But to God, it is a major loss. He understands the power of hope. He understands what would have been produced if hope stayed alive.
I ordered a book several weeks ago. I punched “confirm order,”and waited. It never came. The company said it had been delivered to my door. It ended up at someone’s door, but not mine. That’s like hope deferred. It isn’t gone forever. It’s just misplaced along the way. Life came by, made an unexpected turn, and took hope with it.
Lately, I’ve been talking to hope like a neglected friend. I take “hope’s” face in my hands and speak contritely, but firmly. “I’m talking to you, yes, you. I’m sorry I let you go. I’m sorry I didn’t see you as the gift you are. Come home to me, hope. I need you.” I know that sounds a little strange, but I’m looking forward to the reunion!