How long O Lord, how long? I sighed silently, curling into my pillow and pulling the comforter tight around me. It had been a full day, but now in the dark, quiet with the kids alseep in their beds, a familiar prayer bubbled up to the top.
I closed my eyes to try and sleep but my thoughts stayed on overdrive. I’d prayed so hard for so long for God to bring something about. I admit I’d given God a timeline—ample time to answer my prayer. And yet here I was tucking myself into bed years later with no evidence I was any closer to God giving me a yes.
I’d tried not to become obsessed with this heart’s desire. I’d thrown myself into ministry and parenting. I’d formed new plans and dreams. Some days were so full I didn’t have time to think about my longing. Other days, I thought about it but felt content enough to hold it loosely, trusting God whether He chose to fulfill it or not.
But sometimes, like in the quiet of this night, the longing returned with a mocking ache. I’d tried my best to surrender it to God and now it seemed He had no plans to give it back.
“Now hope does not disappoint,” I’d often heard quoted. But my hope now seemed dead-ended in disappointment.
The next morning, I looked this verse up in my Bible. I needed to see the whole passage and the context, to understand why I still felt so disappointed .
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5, NKJV)
The preceding verses give more context. Romans 5:3-4 tells us we can rejoice in trials (not in our heart’s desires) because they produce perseverance which leads to genuine faith which then produces hope.
This isn’t a birthday wish kind of hope that God will give us what we want. This hope, produced by persevering in suffering, is a confident expectation of all we have in Jesus. It’s hope that God’s infinite love is enough no matter our circumstances.
I felt aching disappointment because I’d misplaced my hope. Our hope cannot be rooted in an outcome, a timeline or any other person. Only hope anchored in Jesus will never disappoint us.
I needed to re-align where I was placing my hope. Only that could re-align my disappointed heart.
So, I began praying a new prayer. “Help me want You, Lord, more than I want ____________.” It’s a prayer God always answers and God has steadily replaced my longing with a calm contentment for life as it is right now.
Have you misplaced your hope in an outcome, a timeline, or a person? If so, start asking God to help you want Him more than you want anything else. It’s a prayer God delights in answering yes!
Dear God, help me surrender this deep longing and instead be completely satisfied in the fullness of Your love, no matter my circumstances. I put my hope in You alone who will never disappoint. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.