Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Living with Disappointment - Martin Wiles

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 NLT

What we hoped to see, we didn’t.

A part of our spring camping experience in the mountains with friends included walking the Oconee Bell Loop Trail—a short and relatively easy 1.5-mile trail that follows a creek adorned with the rare wildflower. My wife and I had hiked it the previous year with my brother and sister-in-law, but we wanted our friends to experience seeing the beauty of this little jewel.

The weather had been radical. The day before our hike, a strong system of thunderstorms had rolled through, causing us to temporarily abandon our campsite for drier ground. The day of our hike called only for scattered showers. One of the rangers cautioned us that we might not see any blooms. Recent frost—along with the strong storms—had delayed much of the blooming period and the violent rains had knocked the blooms from the few plants that were blooming.

The ranger’s caution proved correct. As we meandered along the trail near the creek, we gazed at hundreds of the tiny plants. Buds extended on many of them, but no blooms. Perhaps in another week, but we wouldn’t see them. We kept our hopes up to the very end of the trail; however, we saw no small white bells hanging from the green plants. Perhaps next year, we’ll see them. This year, we faced disappointment.

While I’ve often heard this verse used in Sunday services, for the psalmist any day would do. From his perspective, God had made each day, and that made rejoicing worth it—and obligatory.

Disappointments litter our lives. We can’t stop them, and they come in various degrees. Our disappointment in not seeing the rare Oconee Bell bloom pales in comparison to some disappointment I’ve faced—and witnessed others face. But disappointments don’t have to color our lives with depression and regret.

Sometimes, the disappointment is only disappointment from our perspective. What seems like bad news or a horrible experience is only such because we can’t see the entire picture as God can. Trusting He has something good in store and is working in our favor changes how we see our circumstances.

God directs all events that touch our lives. Since He loves us, He’ll work in our best interest, just as a parent does their child. He will direct and control according to His loving nature.

Accepting that disappointments will come also helps us prepare ourselves mentally for them so that we’re not destroyed by them when they arrive.

Whatever comes your way, remember God has created the day, and He has a grand purpose in it that will eventually work for your good.

Prayer: Father, in our times of disappointment, we turn to You for hope and guidance.

Tweetable: Are you living with disappointment? 

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