This post is going to write itself because I write it with tears running down my cheeks. It is said that emotion breeds creativity, and I have found that to be true. I’m just going to close my eyes, write from my heart, and tell you that I’m struggling with disappointment today.
I woke up with happy expectation. This is the day I had been looking forward to for quite a while because it had been entirely set aside for the enjoyment of a long-awaited opportunity. It had been circled on the calendar of my heart and anticipated with a child-like giddiness. But, this morning, it quickly became apparent that today wasn’t going to happen according to plan. Disappointment surged in, uninvited and unruly.
My first reaction was a pity party, which I did not want to attend, so I turned to the only One who could change my heart. God could also change the circumstances, but I didn’t want to be further disappointed if He chose not to. I wanted Him to change my attitude. Quite frankly, this is simply the most recent in a string of struggles with disappointment. I wanted God to show me the lesson I have been needing to learn so that these kinds of situations would not hinder me anymore.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”Proverbs 13:12
Praying it through, I kept hearing this verse, reverberating in my mind. I didn’t acknowledge it right away because it seemed to justify my feelings, not redirect them. But it persisted, so I finally stopped and looked it up. It was the latter part, the “tree of life” phrase, that made me realize what I was contributing to my problem. It reminded me of Psalm 1:3.
“That person (whose delight is in the law of the Lord) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”Psalm 1:3 – Parenthesis mine, words taken from verse 2
My hope keeps getting deferred because I am misplacing it. I’m hoping in people and services. I’m delighting in the plans I’m making. I am allowing what I want from my days on earth to be too big of an issue. I’m putting too much importance on my ideas and time. If I would prioritize, instead, what God wants from me, what He thinks of me, and what He has for me, then I could roll with the punches much more easily and disappointment would be kept at bay.
“However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9
People are imperfect and are naturally going to disappoint us. They have hiccups in their days, moments of selfishness, and their own agendas to prioritize. I do, you do, and so do the people we rely on. We need to fix our expectations on Jesus. When we put our hope in Him, our longings will be fulfilled – if not in this life, then certainly in the next.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Phil 4:4-7
The tears which were flowing when I started to write have subsided. I have moved my hope to a more secure shelf, so to speak. This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel disappointed today, it just means that I have been reminded that there is a higher authority and I need to place my expectations on the One in charge. I’m in His hands, and His plans are better than mine.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
If God could make the above promise to the entire nation of Israel when they were in exile, He can definitely pull it off for me and for you. What disappointments are you facing today? They may seem small, or they may be looming large, but I promise the God of the Universe can handle them all. Will you join me in placing your hopes, dreams, plans, and expectations on the One who has the power to manage them for our good and His glory? We will not be disappointed!
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says… ‘those who hope in me will not be disappointed.’”Isaiah 49:22a, 23b
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