Perhaps you know the feeling. One day you are encouraged by the Lord – a phone call, a note, a check in the mail, a visit from a friend – and the next you are wondering why the only visitors that are stopping by are unwanted ones, like discouragement, disappointment and despair.
I hesitate to admit it, but this is the predicament I find myself in today. It is “disappointment” that arrived, unannounced and uninvited. Doesn’t seem to matter – they just show up when we are not looking, and if we are not careful, sit down and make themselves at home.
The thing with disappointment is that, at least in my life, it seems to sneak in on the coat tails of sorrow, and before you know it, I am face-to-face with both of them.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot today and I humbly decided this – I am not just generally disappointed, but I am disappointed with God. And as soon as I thought it, I heard the lie of destruction say, “He really is a disappointment, isn’t He?” That’s really when I knew that it was not good, and I would need to ask God to help me rid of this grim guest.
I am in the process of writing my study for this Wednesday. I usually am looking for what God is going to show me “in the moment,” but I am not very proud of this one. The point that I was working on had to do with exploring the things that come between us and God, even as we choose to follow Him.
Money. Possessions. Popularity. Prestige. Fears. Pain. Worries. And now added to my list – disappointments. I’ve dealt with various idols from time to time – maybe we all have.
As I battled disappointment (and its strong defender – the evil one) I realized more and more that it is a hindrance for me. When I am disappointed, I am not trusting God for the life that He planned for me. I am wishing that parts of it were different. I hate that.
As I processed my disappointment and tried to hand it over to the Lord, I remembered what I wrote earlier. I was paraphrasing Jesus in Mark 10: 29-31. “There will be hard times – for My sake. I have special things just for you in the present and future “never ending, forever extending” life with Me, but it’s going to be hard when you choose to follow Me.”
At that moment, I felt the quiet nudge of God. “Oh, really Andrea? Is that so? Do you really believe that? Then why are you so disappointed in Me? Do you know the truths? Let me remind you. I have you right in the palm of my hand. I love you. I have plans for you. Look at Me – I am looking at you. I know that you are sad; it is hard, but you are mine, and I will never leave you. Trust me.”
I knew then that I had a choice – I could either wallow in my disappointment, and take the dangerous chance that it would become anger and bitterness, or choose to trust God – for the millionth time. Why would I hold on to disappointment when I can hold on to Jesus? I handed it over to Him. I can grieve the loss of what I wish I had, but I do not need to take it out on God.
Dear reader, when it comes down to it, do we really have any other right choice than to follow Jesus? He is the only way. The road is hard, but He is faithful, and He loves us very much. Unfailingly.