“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
Have you ever had a desire fulfilled as the result of a delay? I have.
Since the beginning of the summer, I’d been longing to see a monarch butterfly. Regal, beautiful and increasingly rare, this butterfly is one of my favorite creatures.
One hot afternoon while walking in the park, I lifted up a prayer that God would bring a monarch across my path before their migration to Mexico.
A few weeks later, I planned a weekend trip to a lovely seaside town with two of my friends, Roxanne and Donna. We had tickets to see a Christian band perform on Saturday night, and then we’d attend church there the following Sunday.
We finished breakfast later than planned on Sunday, so by the time we arrived at the church there was no nearby parking to be found. We ended up behind the beach parking lot, a 10-minute walk from the church.
After an inspiring service, we had a full and lively day strolling through the town and on the boardwalk. It was after 6:00 p.m. by the time we walked back to Donna’s car and prepared to head home.
Roxanne and I were sitting in the car and Donna was loading the trunk when I spotted it: a majestic monarch butterfly. I frantically snapped pictures as it darted back and forth in a tree about 10 feet away.
“Maybe you should get out of the car and take the picture,” Roxanne suggested. I did, and ended up with some great photos.
The morning’s delay put us in an inconvenient parking spot, but that’s where God fulfilled a special desire for me. It was a small request, but I was immensely thankful and it taught me a great lesson.
The Bible has many examples of how blessings can come through delays, detours and difficulty. Ruth was blessed with a secure marriage, but only after working hard in Boaz’s fields and risking his rejection of her request.
And David assumed the throne after a long wait and many years of warfare, anguish and loss.
What if the God-given desire of your heart has to be birthed through a delay, a detour, an inconvenience – or even adversity? Sure,
God will bless us with those desires that are aligned with His will and plan for our lives. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you,”
Jesus tells us (John 15:7, NKJV). But our desires may not be fulfilled in the way we expect or in the timing we hope for. Some may even spring forth from obstacles.
If you’ve prayed for a desire that’s within God’s will, I encourage you to maintain an attitude of faith, openness and gratitude. And don’t be surprised if He fulfills it in an unexpected way.
By day Toni works in corporate communications at a Fortune 500 corporation, but by night she pursues her true passion: to write for God’s purposes and to point people to Jesus Christ. She is grateful and honored to have the opportunity to begin this new chapter in her life, in which writing is not merely a profession but a ministry. In her free time Toni enjoys music, reading, traveling and beautiful beaches.