Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
I hated waiting for something that I really wanted when I was young. You can have ice cream AFTER you eat your peas. School will be out in a few weeks for summer, Winter holiday, or Spring Break. You can play with your friends after you do your chores. You can’t open that present until your birthday or Christmas. On and on it went. Wait for this…wait for that. It seemed like my childhood was strung together with having to wait for something I really wanted to have or do. As I got older, things didn’t change.
When we really want something but we can’t have it now, it often makes our hearts sick. We think about what we want, count the days or minutes until the waiting will be over, and maybe even whine until the desire is fulfilled. This is actually good for us (well, not the whining). Waiting for what we desire and longing for it helps us to appreciate it when the waiting is over. If we have to work to earn money to get what we desire, we value it more because of the sacrifice.
There are many good things in life that we need to wait for, some that we have to wait for. If we do not, we miss out on being able to truly enjoy the fulfilled desire. Sometimes we will settle for cheap substitutes that make us wish we would have waited for what we really wanted.
In relationships, some people settle for committing fornication with its empty pleasure and unsatisfying relationships instead of listening to God and waiting to share the physical side of love with the one they have dedicated their life to in marriage. Even married people will sometimes settle for an unsatisfying marriage instead of working to make their relationship the best it can be.
Some people will settle for the materialism of this world and the passing pleasures of sin instead of storing up their treasures in heaven and using the material things of this world to glorify God. Yes it can make the heart sick to hope for heaven and the peace it affords, but that hope can help us enjoy our life on this earth and endure any suffering our faith requires until we get to heaven.
When your desire is fulfilled, enjoy and savor it. Too many people are miserable because they keep hoping for something else and never enjoy what they have.