So I can't sleep... it's 1:49am, and as it has often been in the past, the culprit is my usual thorn in the flesh, good ol' hope deferred, the thing that the writer of Proverbs says "makes the heart sick." This particular hope deferred is by no means unique to me, but has dogged me for most of my life, and has led to a lot of spectacularly poor decision making that has baffled everyone close to me... and in retrospect, baffled me as well.
I know that everyone lives with something that eats at them in the middle of the night... sometimes lots of somethings. I am mindful of, and grateful for, the large variety of things that I DON'T have to worry about that other folks do. I think the thing that bothers me the most is not the waiting, but the sickness of soul that results, and what I do when I'm feeling it the most, and how much that basically amounts to a failure of faith... which then makes the whole situation worse because I feel like I haven't just failed myself but failed God. So it's a nasty little cycle and it's kept me back from a variety of things for a long time.
If I recall correctly, the writer of Proverbs chucks in this little couplet
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life"
without context, in one of those series of chapters that are basically lots of wise sayings that are not in any particular order. I remember clinging to that a long long time ago, thinking ok so God gets it, and He will take care of it. Which I guess is true, but that doesn't mean that He gives us the object of our hope. What it means --or I guess the meaning I've ascribed to it-- is that our sickness isn't pointless, and that He uses it for something. I'm pretty sure that's true of me... I have a lot of energy for other things when I'm not fixated on that one thing, and the struggle with this particular thorn in the flesh has taught me some measure of humility. However, when I am fixated on it, it's like I'm in a battle with Tar Baby from the Uncle Remus stories. I act like a crazy shadow of my normal self, and I get stucker and stucker and stucker as I attempt to solve the problem on my own terms without waiting for Him.
I knew I was asking for it when I wrote that poem last week. ;^\
So I'm up at what is now 2:10am, with a sick heart and this same old hope deferred, and a mind that won't shut up about it already... and I thought I'd announce it to anyone who reads my blog, because I --along with I guess everyone else who does the same thing-- write and read to know that I'm not alone.