What to Do with Our Disappointments
By: Anne Peterson
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. - Psalm 84:11
I remember waiting and waiting but my ride never came. There I was all dressed up, but no one came to take me to my destination. I was so excited to be the “Spiritual Life Chairperson” of PWOC -- The Protestant Women of the Chapel. It was an honor to be sure. And I was going to be inducted with a candlelight service. But someone forgot to pick me up.
I struggled; surely God wanted me there, right? Surely it was a good thing. But sometimes disappointing things happen. And my ride forgot to pick me up. (There were no buses, we were living in Germany at the time).
I’ll be honest with you - that disappointment was a hard pill to swallow. But I knew it would not be the only time I was disappointed. And I was certainly right about that.
I share that time with you because in our relationships, there will be times of disappointment. But a long time ago, I saw the quote, “Disappointments, HIS appointments,” and I never forgot it.
And while sometimes it is due to human error, God still allows things in our lives that are hard to understand, hard to accept. And yet, he tells us in Romans 8:28 that he will work all things together for good. And we know that God doesn’t lie - which he tells us in Numbers 23:19, so we can trust him.
So how can we deal with our disappointments? And what if it is our partner who disappoints us?
If we believe that God is sovereign, that means that he knows everything. He is Almighty God. And so, we learn how to trust him on a daily basis.
Knowing that God does not withhold something good from those whose walk is blameless is a great thing to hold onto. Because those of us who have accepted Jesus’ death as payment for our sins are seen by God as being blameless. So that means when we don’t receive something we had hoped for, maybe even prayed for, we can rest in the fact it probably wasn’t good for us. Maybe it wasn’t the right thing, or maybe it wasn’t the right time. Either way, since God knows all about our lives, he knows what is for our ultimate good.
Being married, I can remind my husband when he gets disappointed. Remind him of God’s sovereignty and how much God loves us. And I can listen to his disappointment and just be there for him.
If our spouse is the one who is disappointing us, then we can remember Psalm 146:3, which tells us we should not put our trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. The thing is, people will disappoint us. Just as we will disappoint others.
I remember quoting the old song, Jesus Never Fails, with the lyrics written by A.A. Luther.
Earthly friends may prove untrue
doubts and fears assail
one still loves and cares for you
Jesus never fails.
Jesus never fails
Jesus never fails
heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails.
Luther wrote this song when his son was ill and he was unable to get to him. Sitting at the piano the song came to him. And once he was finished with the song, he received word that his son had recovered.
People will let us down. Our spouses will let us down. When they do we can remember we are all capable of disappointing others. And we can extend grace to them, as we’d like to be treated. Luke 6:31.
God is more interested in working on our characters than he is in the circumstances we face. And Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:6 that God will finish the work he started in us when we accepted Jesus as Savior. Maybe if we saw our disappointments as appointments from God we might be more open. After all, no one loves us, like God does.
Anne Peterson and her husband, Michael have been married for 43 years. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There:Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written another memoir, Broken: A Story of Abuse, Survival and Hope, as well as other books you can check out here. Sign up for anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or connect with her on Facebook.
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Originally published Thursday, 29 September 2022.