Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Disappointment, Part 1
Disappointment. We've all had it. It is a part of life. It is a guarantee. So disappointments are worse than others. Some are as trivial as burning dinner or spilling juice on the shirt you were planning on wearing out or not enjoying the movie you've been dying to see as much as you thought you would. Others are more serious; not getting the promotion you were hoping for or not being asked out on a second date when you thought the evening went great. And some make you ever wonder how you will make it through the day; finding out your husband has been cheating on you or finding out your child is addicted to drugs or the death of a loved one.
My sister is going through a disappointment right now. She has been turned down for a job that she was led to believe was a sure thing. Now she is dealing with the emotions that always accompany disappointment: anger, frustration, sorrow, & doubt. And, I can't say that I'm not feeling everyone of these myself about the situation.
I haven't been able to sleep well since Friday night when she found out that they were at a "stand still" about the decision then today, I flipped & flopped in bed after hearing the news.
I want to jump on a plane & bust into that office & demand a reasonable answer to why they didn't pick her. Do they really realize what they have passed up?
The most frustrating part is that this seemed like the perfect plan laid out by God. It seemed too perfect not to happen. Now she is wondering, "What did I miss? Did I misunderstand God's calling? What did I do wrong?"
I know God allows sorrow to come into our lives for a reason but that doesn't make it any easier. I find myself asking Him, "Why did you allow this to happen? Why did you allow her hopes to be built up so intensely just to have them smashed the next moment? What was the purpose of her going up there in the first place when she could have spent her time in a place that would have accepted her? What are you trying to teach her/us? She wants to serve You more than anything else, why are you making it even more difficult for her to do that? What is it that you want her to do? Where do you want her to go? Why can't you just tell us? You use to come to people in dreams & visions, why can't you just give her a clue?"
Maybe I shouldn't ask him those questions but I don't think that he is offended by them. I think he sympathizes with our frustration & pain but has something bigger in mind, something that will make all of this clear one of these days.
I have another friend right now going through something much more devastating (that I will not go into here). I told her the other day that the Lord will probably one day use her to help others that may be experiencing the same thing. She will be able to show them that there is another side of the tunnel. It may seem dark & scary now, but there will come a day when you will walk out into the sunlight & safety.
The Bible speaks of the "Valley of the Shadow of Death." But that is just it. It isn't death but just a shadow of it. Just the illusion of something to fear, not something truly destructive.
So how is a Christian supposed to react to disappointment? How are we to get through the heartache? How are we supposed to help others through it?
Telling her it will be okay, that it just wasn't meant to be, or it will all work out in the end, right now is not helpful. Those things may be true but hearing them have never encouraged anyone when they are supposed to be morning this loss. It is probably just best to offer a shoulder to cry on for the first few days or weeks.
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
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. - 1 Corinthians 14:33 a
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding - Proverbs 3:5
I will turn their mourning into gladness;I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. - Jeremiah 31:13 b
Many are the plans in a man's heart,but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. - Proverbs 19:21