The Gift of Disappointment

The Gift of Disappointment

Did you ever receive a gift when you were a kid, and you just weren’t all that excited about it? You thought, “What on earth is this about?” I remem­ber ask­ing for a metal detec­tor as a kid. I didn’t get it. So dis­ap­pointed. I was SURE I was going to get it and find great trea­sure in my back yard. Nope. I got some­thing else instead. Some­thing much more prac­ti­cal that I could actu­ally use.

Oh, wait. No. I got a uni­cy­cle. I sup­pose my par­ents thought I should join the cir­cus or some­thing. But, no mat­ter how hard I tried, I could never mas­ter rid­ing the thing. But I spent hours out­side try­ing to learn. It was actu­ally some­what fun, and I got tons of sun­shine and some exer­cise in the attempts at mas­tery. My dis­ap­point­ment faded with time as I for­got my other desire and moved on to other things.

How do you cope with dis­ap­point­ment? I find myself strug­gling when things don’t go as I expected or hoped they would.

Are you tempted to blame the per­son through whose hands the dis­ap­point­ment arrives at your door? Is it their fault for not liv­ing up to your expectations?

What about when they had told you they would do some­thing, but then changed their mind after you embraced the idea or con­cept? Do we have a right to blame them and hold them respon­si­ble for our sink­ing heart and hurt?

The quick reac­tionary results are often shock, sad­ness, fear, hurt, and tears to some extent.

But, the more I have med­i­tated on this con­cept of dis­ap­point­ment, the more I have seen God’s hand in my life. Or, rather, the more I am look­ing for God’s hand.

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

You see, I have a strong belief in God’s sov­er­eignty in all things. And I trust that He directs our steps, regard­less of the plans we have made.

And He does it for our good. Even when it doesn’t feel very good at the moment. Even when I don’t under­stand the why about it.

And while I still may have dis­ap­point­ment, I am not so weighed down by the other junk.

The Lord replaces it with Hope, Love, Joy. Because I know He is in it. And I can trust Him.

And my hope is that my heart will fol­low my head. That I won’t guard myself against future hurt. Because, you know, it will surely come. And God is faith­ful. I pray that He will con­tinue to con­form my think­ing to His Word. And His Will. And that I will walk in faith, trust­ing Him as I take each step. I pray that I will be care­ful with my words, with my promises, with my expectations.

Can we see dis­ap­point­ment as a gift? I mean, if it is true that God is sov­er­eign, and that He directs our steps, and that He does things for His glory and our sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion, then shouldn’t the changes that come in our life, even the ones that bring dis­ap­point­ment and hurt, be received with thanks­giv­ing? Shouldn’t we step out in faith, know­ing that He has worked out the details accord­ing to His per­fect will? And if so, then shouldn’t they be received with glad­ness and not pain and striv­ing and grudges? Who would we begrudge? God? May it never be!

I pray that the Lord will increase my faith. And my hope. And my love.

Mostly my love.

And that I won’t look to other peo­ple to ful­fill those needs that I have, but only to Him who alone can.

In the end most of these details of life really aren’t a big deal. In the big pic­ture any­way. They are minor hic­cups, small pota­toes. They seem big because we have them smashed right up to our eye­ball as we turn them over and over to exam­ine them from every angle. But, down the road we can’t even remem­ber what the big deal was. And I think that is because God has shown us what He was up to many times. Or, we have for­got­ten to even look to see what He was doing in the midst of it all because He DID it, and there we are.

I sup­pose we ought to embrace the gift. Even when it is hard. Even when it doesn’t feel like much of a gift.

And get out there and ride that uni­cy­cle! In spite of our expec­ta­tions. And while we are out there, let’s not for­get to wear our hel­mets! They keep us safe.

And take the hel­met of sal­va­tion,… Eph­esians 6:17

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