BY SISTER LAURETTA LEIPZIG
Disappointments are just God’s way of saying, “I have something better for you. Be patient and have faith and trust in me.”
Rachelle Windham compares disappointments with a wishing well. “We watch our coins fall to the bottom of the well and join other dreams and then we go on with our lives, hoping, but not expecting something may happen.” Disappointments, too, can rest at the bottom of our well. From experience we know that we hope and pray and, if nothing changes, there might remain only heartache or disappointment. “But God’s Kingdom operates very differently than a wishing well,” Windham tells us. “We know God is going to cash in on all of this someday.”
In the meantime, as we think about each disappointing situation that comes to us in life we tell ourselves that actually we did the best we could or prayed as hard as we could in that situation. Yet, we are left with disappointment and a feeling perhaps of inadequacy or we feel somewhat abandoned by God. While on earth, Jesus might have said that as well. He did everything his Father wanted him to accomplish. In the end we see him hailed as king and welcomed by the people as he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Yet only a few days later that all changed. He lost his freedom, his reputation, even his life. Everything was taken from him. And what was his response? “Father, into your hands I place my life.” He demonstrated complete trust in the Father and the Father’s will for him. So, Jesus knew disappointment. He understood what it feels like. Yet, he trusted the Father. Jesus is showing us that it’s not about success; it’s about faithfulness no matter what!
Yes, disappointments are sadly a given part of every life, and we should view them as chances to learn and grow rather than as disasters. They are a turn in the tide and not the end of the journey. Sometimes when we think of disappointment we are tempted to wish for the imaginary genie who appears when we rub the magic lamp, present our three wishes and they are granted. But that’s not the way of God. We will never understand on this side of heaven the depth of the love and care of God even though God doesn’t see it our way. But we have a glorious invitation to trade our disappointments for the sure and certain hope we have in God’s love and providence. In the end, all that God asks of us is to “…learn to accept instead of expect!”