Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hope Deferred

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

It was the summer of 1969. I was an eight-year-old little girl and I went to summer camp for the first time. Like all little girls, I was in love with horses and the main reason I wanted to go to camp was to ride the horses. It was a Bible camp and I would enjoy the classes and the crafts but my whole week was focused on riding the horse. My parents had given me the $2.00 for the horse ride and I treasured that money like it belonged in Fort Knox.

Finally, the day for the ride came. I ran down to the barn and waited in line for my turn. I would be on the second ride of the day, so I had to wait about 45 minutes. I paced. I craned my neck to search the trail for the returning horses. I kicked the dirt. Then the terrible thing happened. Fooling around, I stepped on a board with a nail in it. The nail went through my tennis shoe and stuck in my foot. One of the horse hands had to pick me up while another on pulled the board loose from my shoe and foot.

As the horses returned, instead of fulfilling my dreams, I was being carried to the first aid station. Thankfully, I had received my tetanus shot the month before, but I still had to sit in the bunkhouse and soak my foot in Epsom salts.

It was horrible. There I was, a little girl, alone and in pain. Worse yet, the trail ride passed right below the windows of the bunkhouse. All the lucky kids were having the time of their lives riding the horses I should be on!!! Woe is me!

Two days later, I got to ride the horse and once again, all was well in my world. But, for a couple of days I was absolutely heart sick. I had looked forward to that ride for weeks and my hope was deferred.

It would be just a funny little story about a little girl who stepped on a nail and didn't get to ride a horse, except that something else happened that week. Remember the brief mention of Bible classes? During one of those Bible classes, the Lord spoke to my young tender heart and I committed my life to serve Him full time.

I still love horses and ride anytime I get a chance, but every single day of my life, I serve the Lord. I may have despaired over missing a horse ride, but the desire that began that week in July in 1969 has been a tree of life since.