Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Deferred Hope/Tree of Life

Proverb 13:12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life. "

I love this commentary of Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick - When once a good is discovered, want of it felt, strong desire for the possession excited, and the promise of attainment made on grounds unsuspected, so that the reality of the thing and the certainty of the promise are manifest, hope posts forward to realize the blessing. Delay in the gratification pains the mind; the increase of the delay prostrates and sickens the heart; and if delay sickens the heart, ultimate disappointment kills it. But when the thing desired, hoped for, and expected comes, it is a tree of life, עץ חיים  ets chaiyim, “the tree of lives;” it comforts and invigorates both body and soul. To the tree of lives, in the midst of the gardens of paradise, how frequent are the allusions in the writings of Solomon, and in other parts of the Holy Scriptures! What deep, and perhaps yet unknown, mysteries were in this tree!

 My simple mind has  always believed the tree of life represented Christ, life is in Christ.  Gen. 3:24 So, He drove the man out; at the east of the garden of Eden, He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the "tree of life."   Jesus says in John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father but through me.

 I've had my hope deferred countless times both before and after salvation.  Before salvation I look to Betty to pull myself up by my boot straps and stop being depressed.  It worked pretty good and I took that mentality into my walk with the Lord.  Till a trial came along I could not for the life of me pull myself out of the pit of despair. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for the truth God taught me and continues to deepen my knowledge of the truth, through Him all things are possible. Life is in Christ not in Betty, not in others, not in what this world offers, not in my circumstances no matter how good they are.  Life is in Christ, not in my family, my friends all a blessing but they did not stay at the gate of the garden of Eden to keep Adam and Eve from destroying all hope of ever being reconciled with the Creator.

One of the thing suicide shows us is the result of man taking his life into his own hands, the life God gave him.  My heart is sadden like everyone else at the death of Robin Williams.  Last night I chatted with a dear friend whose brother killed himself and once again she was battling grief and those thoughts of, what more could I  have done to prevent his death?  Her brother made a profession of faith as a teen  but always struggled with depression and it got worst after his Dad died.  So many attempts were made by family and friends to help him and it seems he was on an up swing the week  before his death.  How little we know what goes through the mind of one,  minutes before they take their life. My husband shared at this young man funeral Roman 8:35-39 who shall separate us from the love of God, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, things presents, things to come, powers, height, depth, nor any other created thing , will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  This is my belief, nothing , not even suicide can separate us from the love of God.  If we are His, we are His, even in the bad times, even when we follow our way in doing anything we are still His, even my stubborn will cannot separate me from His love if I am already His. 

I have read some profound words today on blogs, Facebook and even the news but none touched me more then this post . . . .

The flaming swords are gone,  The Word is our sword now.  The angels are gone, no need to protect the Way. He has come, lived, died, rose again and  return to His heavenly home leaving us with the Comforter to guide, teach, comfort us through this sin sick world.    He waits leaving us with hope that He will return for us.  His hope does not disappoint because HE has met the desires of our hearts to be reconciled with the Father. 

All of us know someone who struggles with depression, lets be proactive in reaching out to them. Lets be proactive in praying for them and their family.  I have someone right now I am praying for, a friend and a family member.   I sending them them  the link above and praying it will encourage their hearts to look to the one who alone can give eternal hope.    


  1. As you know, I was deeply touched by Robin's death...not because i have suffered depression but because of what the church must do as opposed to what it often does. You are right Betty. We do need to be proactive.

  2. Bill, I think being deeply touched is the first step to being proactive. Each thing I have read on depression has given me more understanding into it and where it can lead to. It has stirred my heart to be more bold with reaching out to those who are depressed. There is always that fear I might say the wrong thing and makes things worst which of course is the tactic of the enemy. He just wants us to leave them alone in their depression. God says pursue them...He pursued us.

    Thanks Bill for stopping by. Our life has been very busy lately with face to face ministry that I have on purpose not posted anything for a while. It felt good to pour my heart out with written words. Often I just need to gleam from others, it's been that way lately. So very thankful for those of you who take the time to write often. I being blessed by your words.

  3. Denise, I just visited your blog and left wishing I was your neighbor and could come by for tea and a chat. Thanks for visiting me.

  4. Jesus is the tree of life. I love that, Betty. All life is rooted in him. It's so easy to lose sight of that, even in the midst of our "Christian" ministries.

    I so appreciate your thoughts about suicide. And the belief that nothing, not even suicide, can separate us from the love of God. I have several friends and family members who struggle with depression, and I've seen the havoc and irrationality that comes from it. Lord have mercy on us all as we strive to be helpers and not hinderers. Your post is a beautiful example of helping!

  5. Thanks Lisa for stopping by, I appreciate your wisdom on issue. Depression touches every family, it's the not talked about illness. Fear has kept me often from talking to someone I know is depressed, fear I will make it worst by something I say. what a lie that is, caring is never wrong, yes we need discernment and wisdom in speaking. Sometimes a hug and a I love you can say more then a lot of words. Such sadness in so many minds now with the death of Robin Williams so I am praying it will be a wake up call to many. Funerals are always a time to think about one owns eternity. Praying someone will give the gospel out at his funeral, thousand will be listening for what will be spoken.

  6. These are really some wise words Betty... the death of Robin Williams touched me more than I could have imagined. I battled one of the worst depressions I have ever had in this last year and I was not sure I wanted to hold on but luckily with help I asked for, I feel better... I feel hope.. I wish everyone battling depression could feel a little of that hope...

  7. Hi Betty! You are so right about all of us being touched by depression. And how we have to be a help, and not see it as a weakness. I know when I was growing up, that's how I saw it. But now that I'm older, I understand how no one has control over how they are wired.

    May we all see our brothers and sisters as people who need us. And how we need them too, to show them Christ.

  8. Launna, what a great were wise enough to seek help. Thanks for the encouraging comment.

  9. Ceil, you nailed it, we are all wired differently. I have a dear friend who was born depressed or so the doctors tell her. It's taken years of trying different meds to get the right balance in her body. And as change come through aging she will probably have to change her meds. She has had shock treatments and a host of other treatments for her depression. We are all born flawed in some way, physically, mentally, emotionally and I admire those who struggle with deep issue that keep them from being "normal" in so many areas. I admire those who live with them, their mates, their children, depression affects everyone. My dear friend has stayed in church through all this, sometimes so drugged from meds or tired from lack of sleep but she will testify that it's only God's grace that keeps her going. I look forward to being with her in heaven with the glow of a new body and mind that will struggle no more. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Wonderful message, Betty. Having struggled a little with depression, and a lot with anxiety, I find that it's best not to be judgmental about those who have similar problems. Some people are just graced with a temperament that doesn't struggle with either predisposition. But, trust me, we ALL struggle with something!

    Without the Lord, there is no hope. And even to those who believe in Him fully, the world can be a nerve-wracking and depressing place. May God give us the wisdom to recognize those who are hurting, the love to reach out, and the willingness to come alongside when we are needed most.


  11. Sharon, you come along side people with your well thought out blog. Your ability to clearly express biblical truth in your writing is a gift. I love it that you are so honest about your own frailty. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Thanks for visiting my blog (A Bench with a View) and your kind comment :) I'm extremely blessed in both that my son and hubby are so much better cooks than me and love to cook :)

    I do agree we need to be more proactive relating to people with depression and I would also say reaching out to their families too. It is a hard disease to not only the one affected by it, but their family as well; speaking from experience in dealing with it with my now 28 year old daughter. Its a journey people need to know they don't have to walk alone, and I hope we can be better prepared in the future to get that message out to them.


  13. Thanks for your words on my blog. They were so encouraging and your post here is powerful. I once walked around feeling incredibly hopeless and then He touched me - and even in the hard times, the tough stuff, I always feel hope now, b/c He's there. Happy Saturday, Betty.

  14. Betty, I love the bench picture and the title of your blog. It makes me think of all the benches I have sit on through the years, in the states and overseas. Often God will send a stranger to sit beside me and give me the chance to share a little about Him. Then bench time has to end and we must get back into the battle the world sends our way. Wonder if they have benches in heaven?

  15. Happy Saturday to you too Nikki. Thanks for dropping by my site...

  16. Wow. This is powerful, Betty. Great defense of God's heart and truth. My heart breaks for those that are depressed as well, I too have had my bouts, but none as severe and deep as the ones that have it really bad.

    Seeking to help and lift up others seems to have a miraculous effect on our mental perspective. No wonder the Bible speaks of it so often.

    Thanks for the post and the reminder to reach out to those in need… we're all in need of something, not the least of which is hope.

  17. Betty,

    Nice to be here again. Yes, I was so sad to hear about Robin William's suicide and death. Depression and mental illness is something many people wrestle with. I have friends who have at times too, and I love that getting counseling has no stigma, nor should it. Seeking wise counsel is smart and courageous.

    Nice to see you again,
    Jennifer Dougan

  18. Floyd, it seems to me depression is rampart in a country where anything can be had except peace. Money and all it can buy cannot replace peace.

    I never thought about suicide, maybe running away when I was younger living at home. Now that I know more about depression I see there were times I had it, just did not know what to call it. Knowledge is priceless concerning depression, understanding can lead to getting the right kind of help. Just today I sit with two women and talked about how depression causes us to see and think wrong. It was a good discussion, I think some freedom was gained today with one lady. Blessing my brother.

  19. Jennifer, It seems God has given you a voice to speak up for women and young teen girls. They so need a good role model. One who understand depression is not judgmental about those who struggle with it. Grace can reach across the depression line and give hope of God's love. You encourage me.