HOPE DEFERRED MAKETH THE HEART SICK
By Kerby Campbell

I want to be really honest with you as I write today. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do because you fear what some might think of you or say about you. Let’s face it, we are all flesh and we all experience weak moments in our lives. Even the greatest Christian servants of God had times when they became weak so none of us are exemptfrom it. I guess the hardest part for me was coming to grips of admitting that I am weak.

These last couple of weeks have probably been some of my heaviest and hardest days since being diagnosed with Arachnoiditis. I have been very fortunate, most of my life, in that, I have never dealt with depression or just being down. I am for the most part not moody, for which I am thankful! I am always up and on the top side. Oh, there have been short moments for me when I dealt with discouragement to some degree but it has been rare. Kelli has often said to others about me that I am the most even tempered person she knows. I praise the Lord for this and give Him the credit for being this way. I have never liked being down. I do not like to be around “down” people for fear it might rub off on me. However, I have always tried to help those who were down and experiencing tough times in their lives.

Well, now the tough time has come to me and my life. It has been very difficult, to say the least. I believe that only recently I have allowed it to show or be revealed how I am really feeling. I have come to the point that I cannot hide it any longer. That which I have feared has come upon me. I have lost my hope or I am guilty of my hope being deferred. Deferred means to put off! I let myself put hope out of the picture or way out in the future. I never for once thought for a minute this would ever happen to me. The one who is always up on the top side, the one who has run to others who have lost their hope to help them find hope again. Now, it is me looking for my hope. I must say it can be quite devastating when hope is gone or your hope has been deferred. Yes, I believe it can happen to the best of God’s children if we allow it to happen. That is the key. I let it slip from me. It was me that lost focus. It was me that quit dreaming of getting well. It was me who quit hoping. It can be very hard to maintain hope when you feel that your life has been robbed of the things you enjoy most.

I went in for just a “simple” routine knee surgery and came out with a disease that has and will no doubt stay with me the rest of my life, save a miracle from God.

I travel from doctor to doctor, place to place, clinic to clinic, hospital to hospital, only to receive the same answers each time, “There is nothing we can do.”

I have tried all sorts of treatments to relieve my pain, only to find that today it is worse than it has ever been and still no answer with the exception of a few pills and patches to lighten the pain for a few hours and then it comes right back again with full steam.

I had to resign the church that God led me and my family to start 15 years ago, just when things were going so great and God was blessing tremendously.

I have come to the realization that no one will ever call me pastor again, not that I live for recognition or position. I thoroughly enjoyed all the years the Lord allowed me to preach and pastor and tried hard to make sure He received all the glory!

My family and I were forced to sell our home and lose all of our equity and savings in order to continue to pay for medical treatments, of which I did not ask or wish for.

I know what it is like to be told that we cannot treat you because your disease was caused by another physician and our policy will not allow us to treat you.

I know how it feels when you can no longer work hard, as you have in the past, in order to feed and support your family and then to only make things worse file for disability only to be denied and wonder how are we going to make it.

So, as you can see by my honesty today, I know what it is like to lose hope.

But now, I want to share with you that the Lord has given me a new hope and a new desire to put my hope at the front again and not defer it. Deferring my hope has only done what Proverbs said it would do . . . “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.”

By putting off hope I have only made my heart and life more sick. Many of you who read this today maybe can say the same things. I have deferred my hope and I am guilty of making myself more sick, making my hurt even worse, and made my burden heavier.

The second part of that verse says, “But when desire cometh it is a tree of life.” Wow! I am renewing my desire for my hope again. I am deciding to put hope back on the forefront of my life again. I am putting hope back into its proper place. If you have deferred hope as I have done, will you join me today and renew your hope and desire for hope again? It means I am renewing my desire for hope again! Will you?

I may never be healed of arachnoiditis but I have hope that God will heal me today and if not, God will give me the strength to endure it.

I cannot see how it is all going to turn out but I believe it will all turn out for good and God’s glory.

I may not have the answers I want today but I believe soon I will find them.

I may not be able to do many the things I once used to do but I do not believe it will be long before I will be doing them once again.

I may still have excruciating pain today but I believe it will not be long that I am going to wake up and it will be gone.