Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)
Trucker’s friend, Indy, went away for three nights to a horse show leaving Trucker home alone. The event has been on the calendar for months so we knew it was coming. Although we had worked up to the event by separating the two on evenings and some days, this was the first time that Trucker had to spend the night by himself. I was worried that he might get sick as once, two horsy friends moved next door to a new barn and he got so stressed, he colicked. As usual, he whinnied and cried when Indy left, but settled right down. I am sure he expected Indy to return in a few hours. I checked on Trucker about 10:00 and he was quiet, so I did not disturb him. The next morning, he also seemed fine. Evidence on the ground indicated his stomach was working properly, and he ate his breakfast, a bran mash that he loves and which also helps to keep him from getting sick. Then, because he runs the fence line looking for another horse when Indy is away, I put him in the round pen where he could be safe, but also get some grass and exercise, two other factors to prevent colic. When I came home from work at lunchtime to check on him, he was agitated and had been running and sweating. I decided that I had better call the horse vet to see if there were other preventative measures I could take. She suggested that I continue giving him the bran mash, but add a bottle of mineral oil to keep him regular. Colic gets worse when a horse’s bowels become full and impacted. The mineral oil acts as a laxative. While people take a few tablespoons, a horse needs a whole bottle! I wonder what the cashier thought when I purchased six! “Whew, she’s got a problem!” I felt like a scientist as I concocted my brew and added some molasses for flavor to help the mineral oil go down. So far, so good. What is going in is coming out. But, Trucker still stands at the gate to his stall or in the round pen looking for his friend to come home. He made me think of these verses in Proverbs. He is hoping for his friend to return, but as his friend continues to be absent, he could get sicker. Is there something that you are hoping for, but the waiting is making you ill? Have you prayed and prayed and begged God to make it happen, but see no results? Is the lack of an answer interfering with your relationship with God and causing an unhealthy spiritual life? Remember, God wants the best for you and will give you the desires of your heart, but in His timing. Trusting Him and choosing to wait on Him is the best prevention for heartsickness. Like mineral oil, it may not taste very good, but it is necessary to our health.