Over the past few weeks, I've given a great deal of thought to the idea of disappointment. When I listen to others, when I see devastation around me, and when I examine my own life, I realize that at the heart of many of our hurts is disappointment. Disappointment is not selective. It comes to all of our doors: the person who said they loved us stops saying I love you, the job promotion that we deserved slips through our fingers, our husbands aren't the fathers or leaders that we were sure they would be, we lose a job or all of our investments, our best friend stops calling. We usually don't think too much about disappointment until it becomes personal, but when it's me or you that it happens too, disappointment can become hard to survive.
Then, there are the stand out disappointments that have others looking from a distance saying, Wow. I hope that never happens to me. Our children die, sometimes, more than one. We're diagnosed with cancer, our spouse slips away with Alzheimer's. The problem is it's happened to you, and it doesn't seem quite right. It stings and cuts at our souls. We realize it's the disappointment that nearly chokes the life out of us. It's the should have's, the what if's, the it's not fair's. It didn't turn out the way I planned. Why me? My future is forever altered. This is NOT what I signed up for. They were supposed to be here.
The scary part of disappointment is that it creates these very real emotions that are crippling. Those emotions challenge our faith and cloud our thought process. Ever had this thought? If God is good, why did this happen? He could have fixed it. He could have intervened. We all have. Disappointment brings us to that place. If we're not careful we'll be so thrown by our own doubts and emotions that we'll start to implode. We'll shut down, stop looking for answers, stop being real, stop listening for His voice.
I was reading through the last chapters of Luke today, about the crucifixion. Luke 23:49 says, And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things (the crucifixion). The crucifixion was so traumatic to them that they had removed themselves from the situation. Ever been there? It was surreal. Their minds could not process what was happening. They were devastated, incredibly confused, and disappointed.
Why? Because what the people surrounding Jesus thought was going to happen and what actually happened were two very different scenarios. They thought that they understood what Jesus was all about, and they did kind of get it. Their faith was in Him. However, they were seeing everything through an earthly lens. They believed Jesus was going to set up an Earthly kingdom. How could He be their king if He was dead? Jesus said the temple would be destroyed. It was still standing. Talk about being confused and disappointed! Jesus' followers were seeing with physical eyes , not spiritual eyes.
So, what is disappointment? First, it's something that causes deep pain, and on the surface, it is when what we believe will happen ( sometimes, with great faith) and what actually happens do not line up. We believe in a healing, but it doesn't happen. We do all the right things for our struggling child, but we can't turn them around. We are the best wife we know how to be, but our husband still walks out.
When we dig deeper, disappointment is a reaction based on our perceptions. Like the followers at the cross, sometimes what we believe with all of our hearts is not really reality, and in order to overcome disappointment we must change the lens that we are looking through from an earthly perspective to a spiritual perspective.
Visit the Happy Sparrow Boutique to help support orphan care.
Happy Sparrow contains affiliate links. Commission from these links are used to fund nonprofit organizations that support orphan care. No extra fees are added to the price of any purchased product to compensate Happy Sparrow.
Victoria Paxton spends her mornings teaching special education and her afternoons raising two fantastic sons. She's the wife of Mr. Paxton, and, also, the mother of a grown, full of faith daughter who is married to Victoria's favorite son-in-law, Nathan.