Tree of Life
Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” While that principle holds true for all varieties of hopes and desires, the ultimate hope of the Christian life is bound up in the arrival of Christ and his kingdom (Titus 2:13). That is one reason the “tree of life” finds a prominent place in the descriptions of our eternal home in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 2:7; 22:2; 14; 19). So then, if our supreme hopes and desires are in the right place we should expect that a healthy Christian life would always carry some palpable level of “heart sickness,” as we ache for the consummation of God’s eschatological plan. Paul often revealed his godly and mature “unsettled spirit” that “groaned” and “longed” to see us all “put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2). He knew that “to be with Christ” was “far better” than any pleasurable experience this world could possibly afford (Philippians 1:23). Therefore, if you sense you are growing in Christ, but can’t shake that blue sense of dissatisfaction about your present experience and the state of the world, rest assured your spiritual growth is right on track. That ache is a sign of your increasing maturity. Make sure it is tempered with a joyful anticipation, and don’t allow it to degenerate into bitterness. Be reminded each day that with the imminent arrival of our King, the definitive “tree of life” will be here before you know it.
-- Pastor Mike
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