Dealing with the unexpected and disappointing

Dealing with disappointment is never, ever fun. Seems like the last couple of weeks we’ve all been through a whole lot of that, huh? And of course, it’s especially hard when it’s not expected and/or it’s out of the blue.

Recently in our family we had to deal with some unexpected, disappointing news, not even related to this whole coronavirus craziness. Nothing terrible, but still not fun to go through and oh so disappointing. What specifically the situation was wasn’t nearly as important as how it made us all feel. Knee jerk reaction: WHAT IN THE WORLD?? Doesn’t even make sense. As in, AT ALL. Anyone else feel that way sometimes? Just out of nowhere you get slammed and you’re left feeling like, “What was THAT all about?” We’re at a point in our walk with the LORD that we know that the LORD is in control of it all and that we can trust what He’s doing, but at times like this, I just wish I had some perspective. Just a little peek at why. To be honest, it feels as if that would bring me so much more peace.

But wouldn’t each and every one of us love that? I bet Job would have loved that too. Just a little enlightenment would have been nice, I’m sure. But what’s crazy is that Job not only never got an answer for his unmerited suffering, he got a sound scolding from the God of the universe for his complaints against Him. At the end of the book, you’re essentially left with, God is God, and Job is not. Enough said. Can you imagine? I’d rather not. We’re the ones with the perspective from this book, not Job. Crazy, right? He was the one who had to walk/crawl through all those awful life experiences, and we get to sit and read and learn about it.

I’ve mentioned this before in another post, but one thing that can be easily overlooked after reading Job is that Satan couldn’t, can’t, and never will be able to move a finger unless he first gets permission from the LORD. He couldn’t just go and torment Job. He had to ask God FIRST. Only after God gave the go-ahead was Satan able to do his worst. And that he did. But isn’t it fascinating that the LORD allowed it. All of it. For His purpose and glory, and ultimately for Job’s (and his friends’) good. And to draw them closer to Him. If there’s one reason to go through hardships with a submissive attitude, that would be a good one. We don’t have to love it, but in the midst of it we can be thankful and comforted by the fact that He knows what’s going on since He’s allowed it, and His purposes are far better and more amazing than we can ever conceive. Can you imagine if there was no Job in the bible? Can you imagine if there was no example of someone who was put through a virtual ringer, someone who wasn’t perfect and struggled through it all, and yet never cursed God in their frustration and utter despair and confusion? That would truly be awful. His example has served so many people in their times of suffering. Thank God for Job and his testimony.

Another slant on dealing with a disappointing situation is to consider Martha. We all know about Martha and how she essentially told on her uncooperative sister who kept sitting at Jesus’s feet instead of helping her out, leaving all the work to her (Luke 10:38-42). I was recently listening to Tim Keller’s podcast and he gave such interesting insight into this passage. We can all get so busy doing things. Striving to do “good” things, too! So when we can’t do those “good” things, we can get irritated, ticked off, frustrated, and of course, disappointed. Now, doing “good” things is not the problem. The problem is when those good things take over our identity and take precedence over the “best” things, which is being content with whatever the LORD has for us and trusting Him that He knows best, not us. He never overloads us – we do that. Not that He doesn’t challenge us to do big things with His strength, but if we forsake what’s “best” for what’s “good”, we will never be content with the “good.” It’s when we embrace the “best” that we are enabled to do the “good” that God calls us to do. So when we are expecting a yes to something, and we get a no, we need to be humble enough to let the desire or dream go and trust that God knows better than we do. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when we may not agree.

God’s plans are better, but rarely would we choose them. We want easy, fruitful, comfortable lives with no problems or issues, thank you very much. At least, I do! The LORD wants holy, sanctified, and righteous people, for His glory and our good. Thank God He’s in charge and we’re not. We can trust that when we’re left reeling and feeling let down, disappointed, and frustrated, we don’t have to despair. We can mourn the dream that we had (totally appropriate!), but then we can choose to move on toward the new and better dream that the LORD will reveal to us as we put one foot in front of the other, following our LORD into the future unknown. His plans are good and perfect. And that, my friends, is rock solid Truth.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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