What Should I Do with My Unfulfilled Longings? by Boyd Bailey
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
Our daughter and son-in-law could not have children.
After years of testing, prodding, probing and prayers, the doctor concluded that without a special procedure, they only had a 5 percent probability of pregnancy.
Ten days prior to the scheduled procedure to increase their chances of conceiving, our daughter conceived. Teary-eyed, she administered the home test a second time, and there was the additional line — positive for pregnancy!
She showed her husband, and they embraced in grateful hope. Then she called us, he called his parents and we all wept together in humble thanksgiving to God.
An unfulfilled longing brings us to our knees in anticipation of our heavenly Father’s generous grace. Humility is the Lord’s remedy to keep us positioned for His blessings. Our hope may be deferred — but God is still good. He specializes in what man says is a 5 percent chance … because the Lord is faithful 100 percent of the time!
In the book of 1 Samuel, we read about a woman named Hannah, who also longed for God to bring her a child. “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, ‘LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11, NIV).
Barren, broken, rejected, sorrowful, ashamed — these are just a few of the feelings that might have been conceived in Hannah’s hurting heart. But she let the pain drive her to humble herself and call on the name of the Lord. Vowing with sacred devotion, she dedicated Samuel to the Lord all the days of his life.
Her merciful Creator answered her prayer and blessed her with Samuel, who grew into the iconic priest who anointed King David. God blessed Hannah’s humility, her bold prayer and her trust in Him.
Whatever our heart craves, we must remember it’s in our soul’s solitary confinement and utter brokenness that our Father’s mercy can move in profound ways. Sometimes, as Proverbs 13:12, today’s key verse reminds us, our longings remain unfulfilled longer than we would like — even up to heaven’s gates. But when we take those longings to God and let them birth within us a humble desire for His response, His comfort and His presence, He heals our fractured faith.
What is it you’re longing for today? Physical or emotional restoration? Someone to love? A bigger family? A friend? A new opportunity?
Bring it to God, knowing He has the power to work big miracles out of slim chances. And remember that oftentimes, the biggest miracle of all is our own changed heart and a renewed awareness of His love. Today, present your unfulfilled longings in humility and embrace your brokenness as a pathway to answered prayer, blessing and intense intimacy with God.
Heavenly Father, You know the deepest longings of my heart. I bring them to You now, asking for Your power to move in my life and Your presence to meet me here. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 130:1-2, 5, “Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; LORD, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy … I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (NIV)
Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What very real longing can you leave with the Lord and trust Him to fulfill in His timing?
© 2017 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.
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