HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT
The best experience in life is simply living, breathing, loving people, delighting in God’s creation, and earth as our Disneyland. Life is a blessing!
Yet, one of the worst experiences in life is a disappointment. No Disneyland! A hard reality is often life presents more disappointments than successes. These disappointments present sadness or displeasure of unfulfilled expectations, frequently a letdown or setback. Soon we discover disappointments do not play favorites. Many are minor, but some are devastatingly life-changing. No one seems to escape this life without disappointments.
DISAPPOINTMENTS CREATE CHOICES.
1. Disappointments are often expressed by emotional hurt, sadness, pain, maybe tears.
2. Disappointments can lead to choosing negative behavior displayed in the cycle of anger, bitterness, vengeance. Internal vengeance leads to depression and harm of self. External vengeance leads to harming others, too often other family members.
3. Disappointments have the potential to shape character in an upward, positive way. As always, God’s ways appear to be opposite from our natural instinct exhibited in emotional hurt and negative behavior.
However, if we choose God’s way, although unnatural and many times difficult, it becomes the best and certain way to turn disappointments into opportunities.
GOD’S WAY GAME PLAN
1. Acknowledge your disappointment and embrace the hurt and loss with raw and honest emotion. The greater the disappointment, the greater the hurt and sadness. This necessitates a longer healing process.
2. Grieve your disappointment. Let the loss have full play. Allow no self-punishment, but admit it hurts. Being sad is natural. Loss is loss!
3. Control your grief; keep it corralled like a cowboy would his wild horse. Set time limits on your periods of grief. Life goes on. Stay in the game. Life is worth fighting to live with passion, purpose, and significance.
4. Fast your disappointment. Ask: “What must I give up to heal my disappointments?” Grandma Williams lived to be 108. When she faced disappointment, the quicker she arose in the morning to begin her day to live well.
In the past few months, I have personally experienced significant disappointments. One was a relationship issue. The hurt and sadness were deep. My instinct was to defend my position strongly and prove the legitimacy of my opinions. Seeking counsel helped, as well as grieving the loss and remaining silent for ten days. With joy, I can say God’s way empowered me to turn sadness, hurt, resentment into peace. My disappointment changed to freedom from negative emotions. I also learned God never takes a vacation from taking care of me.
Ten years ago today, my doctor informed me I needed to schedule a CT bone scan immediately. My disappointment was so devastating that I went to the restroom to vomit. However, today I tell you candidly God’s way works. Cancer still thinks he is going to defeat me (and he may very well destroy my body), but he can never beat my Abba Father whose Holy Spirit lives in me, through me, and out of me.
God is not like us. Even when everything or everyone disappoints us, God is completely faithful no matter what!
This is my reality. May it be your reality too.