DayBreaks for 1/22/14 – Disappointment #1
Job 5:7 (MSG) It’s human! Mortals are born and bred for trouble, as certainly as sparks fly upward.
I won’t ask you when the last time was that you were disappointed. I’m sure that you were disappointed already today if you’ve been up for more than a few minutes. You may be disappointed in the weather, or with how you slept. You may be disappointed with your kids or spouse for not rising earlier. You may be disappointed in yourself over something you did or didn’t do. If you’ve been in to the office already, or to school, chances are you’ve been disappointed. It happens a lot. Listen to this introduction by John Ortberg from the book, The Surprising Grace of Disappointment by John Koessler:
“Every child enters the world crying. Disappointment is non-optional equipment A wise observer said many centuries ago that human beings are born to suffer just as sparks fly upward.
“Sometimes, disappointment comes to thwart foolish wishes and immature dreams that richly deserve oblivion. I’m deeply grateful my earliest prayers were not answered. One of my first desires was to grow up to be Popeye the Sailor Man: and I am glad for a hundred reasons that did not happen – only one of which is that Olive Oyl turned out to be much less attractive to me when I became a man than she was when I was seven.
“But sometimes disappointment comes to good hopes and wonderful desires. Somebody has a deeper hunger for a strong, rich, life-affirming marriage. Somebody hopes to have an education and pursue wonderful knowledge, but they grow up in poverty and never have the opportunity. Somebody hopes to be reconciled with an impossible parent. Somebody hopes that their child won’t die.
“Then comes disappointment.”
You know it is true. You’ve drank from the dregs of disappointment’s bitter tonic. Yet, disappointment is a good medicine in the right dosage and if taken properly. Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed no one was safe as a part of a community unless they had first been dis-illusioned, for if they haven’t died to their illusions about a community of perfect people and been awakened by that disappointment to love the real people God has put around them they will never be able to love others who will disappoint them frequently.
Francois Fenelon wrote this long ago: “God must tear from us what we love wrongly, unreasonably, or excessively, that which hinders his love. In so doing, he causes us to cry out like a child from whom one takes the knife with which it would maim or kill itself.”
Ortberg concludes: “…this strange and costly truth – God is sometimes present to us in disappointment in ways that He is present in no other times, for in disappointment we know that God is all we really ever have…for the Bible is not first of all the story of human disappointment. It is, in a strange way, the story of the disappointment of God.”
We’ll explore this topic more in coming weeks. Let disappointment, like discipline, be a guide in your life. The sparks will continue to fly upward and we will suffer and face disappointment. We must learn to see it as a part of how God is shaping us to enter His kingdom stripped of all but Him.
PRAYER: Father, let us learn our lessons about disappointment, realizing that we have disappointed You more than we will ever be disappointed ourselves. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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