Disappointment: Hearing No or Not Now
Have you ever been disappointed? Have you ever been disappointed with God? If you are honest, the true answer to both questions is yes. I know it is for me. So what do you do about it?
There have been countless times in my life when God has answered my prayers with “no” or “not now.” And like any child, it leaves me wanting to through a temper tantrum. Sometimes I just pout, but often I want to kick and scream. I can fully accept that my linear view of time prevents me from fully accepting and understanding God’s decision in response to my request. God can see the ripple effect of granting my request. My logical mind can even accept that He knows what is best. Honestly though, I still don’t like it.
Recently I pulled out an old book filled with wisdom, Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. It tackles questions no one wants to ask. One that’s true for me is about God’s wisdom and timetable-mostly His timetable. I want what I want when I want it. Do you ever have those moments? I have more of them than I care to admit.
I was having one of those moments when I read this:
No one is exempt from tragedy or disappointment. God himself was not exempt. Jesus offered no immunity, no way out of the unfairness, but rather a way through it to the other side. Just as Good Friday demolished the instinctive belief that this life is supposed to be fair, Easter Sunday followed with its startling clue to the riddle of the universe. Out of darkness, a bright light shone. (pg 186).
I was humbled. My pity party diminished. I apologized to God for my childish behavior and reclaim this scripture.
22-24 Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob;
adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do his own thing;
he has been right there, listening. (Psalm 22 MSG)
Even in my tantrum throwing, I am not alone. God fully and completely understands my anguish. It lessens the frustration to know He understands and is right there with me.
My key to lifting myself fully out of the slump is to remember to give thanks in all things. As soon as I start thanking God for all the good things in my life, my spirit is lifted and my mind is refocused on the things that truly matter. The “no” or “not now” loses its sting. I find myself resting in His plan and not mine.
How about you? How do you deal with disappointment? Share your story below so we can learn from each other.