"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man." - Friedrich Nietzsche
I'd like to respectfully disagree with Mr. Nietzsche, and while I'm at it I'd like to flee with great haste his outlook on the world. I hold to the idea that hope is a valuable ally. Something to cling to and focus on in times of trouble or doubt. Today's proverb of choice speaks directly to this.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12.
Have you ever had a hope extinguished? It is more than likely that you have. If that is the case you know how demoralizing it is when something you longed for, excitedly expected, and hungrily anticipated is snatched away. It's like a kick in the gut or more beautifully stated, "it makes the heart sick". The moment you realize that some great dream won't come to fruition or some long sought opportunity is gone is a taste ( or a big gulp) of despair. Sometimes that can send us into a tailspin and a pit of thought that begins to compound negativity. However, just because we begin to circle downward and hear voices that tell us there is no hope, that still doesn't mean those voices are true or that hope is lost.
That's the great thing about hope is that just when it seems extinguished it often flickers back, sometimes when we least expect it. And when that hope blossoms into a raging fire and then ends with a "longing fulfilled" there is nothing more encouraging, satisfying and inspiring, and that of course leads to future hope, and helps ignite that flame years later when we once again face a "hope deferred".
The Message version:
"Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around."