On December 13, 2012, a brand new Chick-fil-a is opening in Winter Haven, an hour away from me. At 6:00 am on December 12th, there will be a raffle and 100 names will be chosen. The participants (and their guests) will then proceed to spend the next 24 hours on campus at that Chick-fil-a, camping out in the parking lot, while the restaurant feeds and entertains them. At the end of the 24 hours, the 100 participants will be given 52 passes for a #1. Free Chick-fil-a for a year.
I was supposed to be going.
I had been planning on it for almost a month. I told other people I was going. I looked at the pictures on the website and read the fine print. I thought of board games that would be fun to play with each other and with the other CFA fans around us. I was trying to figure out how many times I could post pictures of the event on Facebook without being annoying.
Then tonight Peter's truck broke down for an unknown reason and we decided it wouldn't work out for tomorrow. I was crushed.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." -Proverbs 13:12
I made this verse the main event at my pity party. Poor me, getting my hopes up for nothing. Boo you, circumstances, for making my heart sick.
But as God reminded me of better realities, some psalms I read earlier today comforted my soul in newer, deeper ways than they had before:
"Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise!" -Psalm 84:4
"Blessed is the one You choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple!" -Psalm 65:1
Immediately my heart was convicted yet simultaneously encouraged. I was throwing a pity party because I couldn't go to a Chickfila grand opening, when I have theeeee highest privilege fathomable: I get to worship God!!!
When I read "satisfied" I faintly yet endearingly remember all those times when verses like these were my comfort in my singleness. "The LORD is my husband!" I would remind myself. "He does not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly!" And praise God for sustaining me with those truths.
But now I am reminded to be satisfied with His goodness, even in the small things. Jesus has felt every bit of the forsakenness that I should have felt so I can be brought near. How I must keep reminding myself of this, that my heart may be revived even during the insignificant little changes of plans that still make me feel really, really bummed.
If hope deferred makes the heart sick, wouldn't it be wise to only put my hope in desires that I know will be fulfilled?
I'm reminded of Colossians 3:1-4.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
Wow, every single one of those verses so sharply directs our gaze upward. What a glorious thought, that Christ is seated at the right hand of God, experiencing fullness of joy, upholding the universe by the word of His power, working all things together for our good (and for His glory!)
And what a great promise that we will be behind our King in His grand, victorious return! That we will be with our glorious Bridegroom and enjoy Him forever. That our groanings will be silenced as He makes all things new and swallows up death forever.
It's times like these, when I miss a Chick-fil-a grand opening, when the words in the Bible need to become more than just words to me. The glorious truths of what Christ has accomplished on the cross and in the resurrection and of what He will accomplish at a time unknown to me can easily eclipse even my greatest earthly disappointment. There is absolutely no disappointment big enough to trump the certainty of the success of what is to come. :)
So I'm encouraged. And I'm challenged. May God remind us always of the imperishable, undefiled, and unfading hope that is kept in heaven for us (see 1 Peter 1!) so the forgettable, uncertain, dissatisfying hopes we have today may be seen as they are.
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
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Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today