Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12
Hmm… A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
As in, really?
I’m wondering about the claim in the verse above in the light of what is written about the first tree of life; the one in the Garden of Eden. It was actually because of the presence of this tree that God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. He didn’t want them eating the fruit of this tree, because had they done so, they would have lived forever! That is, the fruit of the tree of life would make people live forever. You can now understand why I’m scratching my head at the Wiseman’s statement above – as though if I could just fulfill my longings, I would be able to live forever!
So, is there really a connection between a longing fulfilled and a tree of life?
I think so: If a longing fulfilled is a tree of life, it seems to me then that having your longing fulfilled is more vital than meets the eye. I can definitely perceive a profound connection between a longing fulfilled and a tree of life: that is, between getting the things your really want, and your happiness and health.
And I think the power of a longing fulfilled lies in what it releases into the heart: a deep and enduring happiness. Whenever your deepest and most entrenched longings are fulfilled, your heart is completely filled with joy, with indescribable bliss. This fullness of joy constitutes the most powerful medicine in creation, and carries the potential to forever keep you from sickness and death!
In other words, what the Wiseman is saying is this: Happiness is the secret to health and long life. And this happiness springs from a longing fulfilled; from satisfying your most entrenched desires; in short, from getting what your really want in life.
Jesus Christ confirms this:
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
~ John 16:24
Again, note the connection He makes between getting what you really want, and being filled with Joy. I don’t think that’s an absolute conclusion, though. Yet, ponder on this: Would your joy be complete if the core and persistent longings of your heart are not fulfilled? Practically speaking, I don’t think so.
I believe strongly that until you get the things your heart really long for, your joy will not be complete; that you won’t be happy if the core desires of your life are not satisfied; that an important condition for a happy life, is the fulfillment and accomplishment of your deepest and most entrenched desires.
At this point, I imagine that you might probably be wondering, “Are you saying that there’s nothing wrong with my desires?”
“Yep, that’s a yep”
There’s nothing wrong with your desires. They come from God.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11
As far as I am concerned, what I want for myself are the same as what God wants for me. And that goes for you if you can receive it. I see no discrepancies between what I want for myself and what God wants for me. Because, I don’t think He’s a sadist. The longing in my heart pertaining to my preferred realities, correspond exactly to what God has in mind for me. If anything, those in His mind are even better and more beautiful!
However — and this is where the soup turns sour — when it comes to the path to our preferred realities, I think that most minds are in conflict with God; that only very few minds are perfectly aligned to God’s regarding the path to their longings. This conflict is the root of all failures and unhappiness in life.
Broadly speaking, there are two main — and conflicting paths — to the fulfillment of your deepest longings: a logical path; and a ‘crazy’ path.
The logical path appeals to your senses. But, for some unfathomable reasons, it usually leads to disappointment, and the frustration of your real and ultimate desires.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
~ Proverbs 14:12
This path is logical and sensible; it ‘seems’ right. That it seems right, however, doesn’t mean that it’s right. But it can fool your senses and drag you into the abyss of regrets. Jesus referred to it as the wide gate, and as the broad road.
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
~ Matthew 7:13
In other words, it’s not just logical and sensible, it’s also easy, convenient, and probably pleasurable. Most people indolently follow this path; which is the major reason most folks today hate their lives.
Then there is the ‘crazy’ path. I say crazy, because it’s more intuitive than logical; it doesn’t appeal to human logic; it even appears as foolishness — in fact, it appears as though it would take you away from your desires.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
~ Matthew 7:14
Most folks – including the intelligent, talented, and lazy – avoid this path and end up in misery and regrets. Yet, this path is the one that takes you to where you desire to be at the end of the day.
What a twisted and crooked state of affairs this crazy life is!
For me, the worst aspect of the whole craziness is that it’s so difficult to recognize, choose, or walk in the right path. Which is why majority of folks never do. But it can be done. In spite of the attendant difficulties, you can discern and choose the right path that leads to the sure fulfillment of the longings of your heart.
And it all depends on the quality of your daily decisions; with what you do with today.
Today is a special gift from God to improve your shot at happiness. Today is an opportunity to ask yourself some very pertinent questions. Questions like: Am I happy? Am I getting what I want? Am I fulfilled? Have I made the right choices? Is the path I’m on leading me definitely to where I desire to be?
Today is also an opportunity to make new choices; to alter the path you are walking on; to alter the direction of your life.
You see, today is a precious gift that is mostly wasted. I don’t normally believe in equality. Which is why I’m fascinated by time. Because in time I see equality. It is one thing that everyone has equally. Yet, most people don’t realize it. And most don’t know how to employ it to live a happy life. Yet, every thing happens in time. And the decisions you make today are what matters.
To have your longings fulfilled, and thus enjoy the fruit of the tree of life, you must realize that the choices you make today are more important than the ones made for you yesterday. And consequently, you must understand that the most important thing you can do with your life today is to improve the quality of your decisions.
Here are three helps.
To improve the quality of your decisions:
1. Submit absolutely to the Word of God and His Holy Spirit
The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you skip this step and lean on your own human logic, you will fall into the trap of the senses. Then as you get older, you keep finding yourself in realities that are far different from what you planned.
But when, instead, you spend time in prayer, in God’s word, in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and you yield your thoughts and decisions to Him, prosperity and happiness come to you.
2. Seek and Listen to advice from successful people, who are godly, wise, happy, and sincere
None of us knows enough to make it on our own.
To ignore the counsel of wise elders is to waste your life.
Here you also have the reading of books. One line from a book can make all the difference.
3. Develop your own powers of observation
The divine path is revealed in nature. It is also revealed in the journey of everyone on earth.
Observe and learn.
The more you improve the quality of your decisions, the more your longings are fulfilled in time and space. This is the happiness secret to health and a long life
Have a blissful week!