The dictionary definition of disappointment says something about failing to fulfill expectations, hopes, and desires. Our disappointments come in many shapes and sizes. Some are trivial in the greater scheme of things and some are enormous and leave deep scars behind.
People let us down all the time, don’t they? We place expectations on them they don’t live up to and we are disappointed because they did not follow through according to our expectations. They are sinners just like us and so we should not be surprised at their failures. Yet we are.
Sometimes we are disappointed in God because we believe He has let us down. When I was a young woman I wanted to be a mother more than anything else. I was constantly focused on becoming pregnant. My desire for a child had become a demand and I expected God to give me what I wanted.
Each month as I realized I was not pregnant I became angry I was being denied what I wanted. My desire had become an idol. God had become the baby-giver and when He disappointed me by not giving me what I wanted I fought Him, argued with Him and tried to bargain with Him. I suffered great misery as a result of my sinfulness. My heart was not set on God or His glory.
What is your response to disappointment? Do you accept it well or do you pout and become angry? Your response is an indication of the priority you have given to the person or the thing that has let you down. We tend not to see the magnitude of our desire and fail to see it has become an idol in our lives. Wisdom demands we view our disappointments with a godly eye.
Looking at disappointment from God’s perspective changes the focus from my sinful self-focused heart to what God is accomplishing in the situation. The changes begin as I submit my will to His and determine to be content with His plans knowing that He is for me and not against me. It means I can take Romans 8:28-29 seriously and agree that “all things” includes the disappointments, sorrows, and things that I view as bad are being used by God to change me into the likeness of His Son.
I am His workmanship, His project, and His focus. All of the disappointments He allows are being weaved into the tapestry that is my life in Christ. The underside of the tapestry is messy and a jumbled mass of threads visible only to the Creator- quite disappointing from that perspective! But the result of all that mess is that I am in process of becoming something beautiful.
When there is something we believe is truly important to have or to become and it does not come to pass, there is a choice to be made. We can either accept that what I think I need is not a part of God’s plan for us or we can get angry and contend with God. The wiser plan is of course to accept God’s better plan for our lives.
I repented of my idolatry of motherhood and determined to be content even if I never had a baby. God was extremely gracious to me and eventually allowed me to bear three sons who are my joy and delight. He waited until I was content with Him and no longer disappointed in His plans for my life.