At some point in our life we will experience a major loss or setback and become disappointed, stressed, depressed or completely overwhelmed. Sometimes we may think that disappointment should not come our way because we built up a spiritual equity or sorts, and disappointment should knock on someone else’s door. But disappointment visits us all and how we handle it can set the tone for how we handle future disappointments in our lives.
I know disappointment visited King David upon learning he would not build God’s temple. Instead, Solomon his son got the job. If I were David, that message would have stung my soul. David had such faith and truly loved God and served as a living witness to God’s favor and mercy. But David’s hands, although often raised in praise of God, were also stained with the blood of warfare, and thus he could not build God’s temple.
I have also suffered the after effects of disappointment. Sometimes it has been a person or a situation that disappointed me, but nonetheless, I understand that pain and disappointment is unavoidable in life. And even when I think that I have some equity built up – meaning I should be spared major setbacks or disappointments because I am a Christian or seek to live an honorable life ( yeah right!), something happens to disappoint me yet again. Sometimes it literally takes my breath away, others, times, I question my faith and relationship with God, wondering why he didn’t keep me safe from whatever has befallen me. But life does not work that way. God is with us always, even when we walk with disappointment and sadness and if we let him, he can use it to do marvelous things in our lives.
There were times I worked hard to be a good friend to someone, only to feel that it was not reciprocated – that the friendship was just a convenience or strategic alliance. And there were times loved ones disappointed me when they took too much and gave back so little, that I felt spiritually depleted. And then there were my own disappointments on what I should have done or should be doing versus the reality of my life.
Kay Arthur, in her book, As Silver Refined, tells us that sometimes disappointments are actually appointments from God. She said that God will use disappointments for his glory. So instead of feeling discouraged about the job you did not get, be thankful because perhaps God has another job or opportunity for you that would not have happened if you received that promotion. Or perhaps you were not ready and God is still training you or perhaps not getting the job will encourage you to start your own business – which has always been a dream. Better yet, use this disappointment as a ministry opportunity when you mentor others.
I have no easy answers, but what I will say is, people and situations have disappointed me numerous times. I thought being a Christian isolated me from the world and so much disappointment, but that is wrong. Life will not be without pain and disappointment, and we should see ever disappointment as an opportunity to be refined by God – to be called to a better purpose or to let go of those things that prevented us from being closer to Him.
If you struggle with disappointment, know that you are not alone. Read your Bible and pray to God, knowing that he will hear and will answer – in his own time. Being disappointed does not mean you have to let go of your dreams, it just means that the answer is not now. God loves you and works in his own time. If you feel as if you are falling into a depression or sadness, I encourage you to talk to a trusted friend. It also helps to run or walk longer than normal because this will help lift up your spirits. Studies have shown that running (daily aerobic exercise) may be as good for depression as taking medication. So, run, pray, walk, read the Bible and know that God is with you, helping you and he will never leave you. See your disappointment as an opportunity – a way in which you can grow closer to God and allow Him to use you and your pain to help another. Be blessed.