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Seeds of the Kingdom

Living With Hope Deferred

by Gemma Gardner

22 February 2022

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Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12, NLT

I was listening to the latest podcast by Andy and Cath Taylor from Ellel Ministries entitled ‘Disappointment’. It was a real blessing to me as I looked back over my life at times when I was living with hope deferred. Maybe you are in that place right now and are feeling close to giving up on your dreams. I reached that point many times, but there were two verses from the Psalms that helped me to hold on. The first one is in Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires’.

The second verse that helped me in my time of waiting is Psalm 84:11, ‘For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.’ 

Back in 1990 I had two dreams. I wanted to be involved in a Christian ministry that was involved in healing and deliverance, and I wanted to be married to a godly man with the same vision. When I heard of Ellel Ministries at that time, I thought, “This is where I want to be”.  But then, my life was suddenly turned upside down when I was taken ill with a virus.

Nobody knew what it was, and some even doubted I was so ill. I cried out to the Lord to heal me, but nothing seemed to be happening. Then, in 1998, after receiving ministry at Ellel Grange, my condition began to improve and by January 2000 I was finally able to give up my electric wheelchair and walk unaided.

Again, there was a long wait for the fulfilment of the other longing I had. Over the years, it was painful watching friends marry and nobody on the horizon for me. Again, I clung to the two verses above but prayed that, if God wanted me to be single, He would change my desires. In August 2000, I met Dean at Ellel Grange. I was fifty years old when we got married nearly nineteen years ago.

I know how hard waiting is, and the temptation to make things happen our way is very strong. If you are struggling with being single, or any other dream you are waiting for, I encourage you to trust in God’s character. He is good. He loves you, and He will not hold back anything good for you. Don’t fall for the devil’s lie to Eve when he persuaded her to doubt God’s goodness.

Gemma Gardner lives in Norfolk with her husband, Dean, who until recently worked at Ellel Grange. They are both part of the Associate Ministry team which Gemma joined after completing the Modular school. Gemma has experienced the Lord`s healing and restoration over many years and longs to see Him healing other broken people. Gemma loves listening to music, cooking, knitting and crochet as well as outdoor exercise. She enjoys playing guitar and singing worship songs.


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