“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Hope put off is a weariness to the heart; but when what is desired comes, it is a tree of life.” (Bible in Basic English)”
As a scientist, I tend to define: What does hope mean? What is a tree of life?
The dictionary says that as a noun, hope is a feeling of expectation and desire and trust for a particular thing to happen. As a verb, hope is to want something to happen or be.
Sure, if we’re expecting or trusting something to happen, and it takes a long long time to come, we become weary, our heart aches.
How about the tree of life?
Genesis mentions an actual tree of life that Adam and Eve could eat from, taken up again in Revelations 22:14, “Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will… eat the fruit from the tree of life.” This is a tree that literally gives life.
In Proverbs, the tree of life has life-affirming practical contexts too. It is about knowledge (3:18) or good deeds (11:30), fulfilled desires (13:12) or gentle speech (15:4). Proverbs 3 paints a beautiful picture:
“Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,…
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
This is not a contextless hope or desire. It is not just about chocolate! Our hope needs to be held gently steadily in the loving hands of the One who is wise. With a (wiser) understanding of what is good, what God desires, we may walk towards the tree of life, staying on her paths of peace. When this hope comes, it will be a life-giving, joyful day.
Prayer of Response:
Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom, You see clearly, and You are love. May our hopes and desires align with yours, that we may not grow weary, and when goodness comes, we may celebrate with her, the tree of life. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
- What are you hoping and desiring for?
- Are you growing weary waiting?
- Is there someone with whom you can wait together, who will bring wisdom to your hopes and desires?
—Submitted by Kae Ting Trouilloud
Kae lives in Lyon, France, and loves trees! Her current hope and desire Lifesprings community-wise is to see the bilingual Lifesprings School of Ministry LSM-Formation Zoé come to fruition, through His wise counsel and for His Kingdom’s sake. The school starts on 6th November 2021. There is an Open Evening by Zoom on the 25th of September, please join us to welcome and support students and team working towards growing wise together!