Archive for November, 2012

Disappointment

Expecting a yes, you were  told no. Disappointment.

What was thought to possibly be a good friend, ended up being an opportunist who cares little for you personally. Disappointment.

You thought you might have  been given a large raise, but instead received cutting remarks and questionable job security.  Disappointment.

Someone whom you believed had great integrity, instead had greatly hidden sin. Disappointment.

Life is frequently disappointing.  In fact, I know people who are or have recently been through each of the disappointing situations from above. These are not questions of faith in Jesus, but they are times so painful, turning to Jesus for comfort seems like the only option not involving substance abuse!

I’m disappointed right now as I commit these thoughts into words.  Without getting into the minutia of her unique challenges, please know that my wife of nearly two decades is the love of my life.  Sadly, she has large and repeated health failures that cause her to miss moments and chunks of life that she would never skip on purpose. She has seen numerous medical professionals, and they are stumped as to how to help her.
She spends 5 days a week mostly in bed, and she is disappointed.   I miss her all the time when life marches on, and she is too sick to function. I’m disappointed.  Tonight, two of our sons will play in school basketball games in front of crowds of people yelling their names…and it brings me to tears that she may not be able to attend either game.  At times I am more than disappointed, I’m heartbroken. Is this sounding like Eeyore yet?

We plead with the Lord.  We see medical professionals more often than we would like. Godly people have prayed over her.
God hasn’t answered our requests the way would like yet.  I’m reminded of the Lord’s reply to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 … “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Here’s the deal though: I want His grace.  I want his power to be made perfect.  But in weakness?  Ouch. I love sports, but I was late to puberty, so I was smaller and slower then most the other boys in school for a couple of years.  I took a lot of abuse in that time too. Weakness!? Not a fan. I’d rather be bigger/faster/stronger/smarter in all things in life, but that’s not usually an option, is it?

What’s amazing though, is how frequently people tell us that they admire us for our strength.  And I’m always surprised when they do. How can people see us as strong when we are living in the crud of disappointing health?  We need others to help us with a variety of things (included but not limited to rides to/from sporting events for our 4 kids).  I’m disappointed in how strong we aren’t.  We feel weak and somewhat lost at times. So we have to lean into Him.  It’s only in Him that  we gain perspective, hope, and peace that dispels the disappointments.

What this looks like is simply to lean into his grace to get through a day.  Each day. One day at a time.  I really mean that.  In my head I repeat a phrase constantly which is a slight variation from 2 Cor 12:9: “His grace is sufficient to fulfill your needs, today.”  So I pray. I listen. I read scripture.  Sometimes I fail at this big time, but frequently….my heart is calm and peaceful even in the storm.  It allows me to laugh at myself when I screw up cooking breakfast, or spill bleach on the colored laundry.  He gives me perspective that is bigger than disappointment.

Don’t let disappointment define you.

Do let his grace and peace (and yes, even power in weakness) inform you how to think and how to live through your  disappointments.