What’s the biggest disappointment you’ve had? Someone let you down big time, broke a promise, betrayed a confidence, stole your best friend, you missed a chance to go somewhere, didn’t get picked for the team, missed out on a job, got sick, and bigger things than these?
We all experience disappointment at some time in our lives, some of us from a really early age. We were devastated things didn’t work out the way we’d hoped. Small children voice their disappointment by crying or screaming, having tantrums or stamping their feet. They soon let you know about it.
Sometimes when we’re older we hide the pain of disappointment, shrug and say it doesn’t matter, bury the grief deep inside, vow to get even, get bitter or get better. We begin to insulate ourselves against further disappointments, lowering our hopes and expectations so anything else is a bonus.
While my children were growing up I would have done anything to prevent them from feeling disappointment, as they got older and bigger things happened, I wanted desperately to take the weight of that disappointment on me so they wouldn’t have to feel it.
But I realised that was how I had had to learn some of life’s lessons, sometimes very hard lessons and that disappointments could teach me something, there could be purpose in the pain of it. I learned that getting even with someone was definitely a waste of time and emotion, it wasn’t my responsibility and only chained me up, not them.
I learned that even though things didn’t work out the way I’d hoped initially, I could look back and see that maybe that the way things did work out in the end was for the best. I learned to hand my disappointments to God, to give Him my feelings and allow Him to work things out.
I don’t know what you’ve experienced in your life but I am certain you will have had some deep disappointments, some you may have got over, some you may not. I don’t know how they have left you feeling, sad, angry, distrustful perhaps, or maybe you too managed to get over them and work round them.
12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. The Message (MSG)
All I know is disappointments are an inevitable part of life, Jesus experienced them too, when people ignored His wise words, when His friends didn’t understand what He was teaching them, when they deserted and denied Him, when His friend Judas betrayed Him, even though He knew it was going to happen. Yet he was still able to cry out “Father forgive them…” as they nailed Him to the cross. That’s a tough call but one we sometimes need to do, let go of our resentment and disappointment.
If you do it will free you up, bring you peace and help you move forward. I can’t prove it to you but I dare you to try. If you need help ask the One who promises to forgive you, to help you handle your disappointments. Don’t be afraid, just call.