Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1



This past weekend we eagerly anticipated having our Kentucky family come to visit us.

It was going to be a holiday weekend and our grandchildren would have an extra day off from school. That meant they would have extra time to spend with us. It is a long trip from their house to ours—about a 9-10 hour drive. Needless to say, we don’t get to see them often and have been missing them a lot. Our ability to travel to them has been hampered by my own traveling long distances becoming rather difficult.

The reason we were disappointed was weather problems. They had started out headed for Iowa but soon found that they were traveling in a snowstorm. All the weather predictions seemed to have been wrong for them. By the time they were nearly 4 hours into their trip, they became stuck in weather gridlock because of accidents all around them. They were safe and we were thankful. After numerous phone calls and us assuring them that we wanted them safe at all costs even if it meant that we would not get to see them, they decided not to continue. In the end, they decided to turn around and go back to their home. And there was great disappointment all around. Disappointment for us! But we have experience and could realize what storms can result in. Probably the bigger disappointment was the plans made by our son and especially his kids and our grandkids.

It might have been less of a disappointment if this had been the first time they planned to make this trip. Back in January they had packed for a winter trip to come home and were in the car after getting out of school. It was then they called and told me that they were starting out. While we knew of the possibility of them coming, nothing had been confirmed. Those of you in Iowa will remember what happened in the middle of January! We had back-to-back snowstorms that gave us nearly 20 inches of snow. Many people were stranded, and many roads were closed. It is a very hard thing for a parent and grandparent to tell family that we don’t want them to come home. To stay and not come. I always want my kids and family to come home. So, telling them to stay there was very disappointing. Still, I was glad that they called before starting. They stayed safe!

When they couldn’t come the second time, disappointment was even greater. Disappointment for us and even more for them. Their anticipation of coming to see us was high and then to have to turn around was so sad.

Have you ever anticipated being able to do something special that you really really wanted to do? And then were told that there would be no special happening for you, that someone else would be the one to do it? Perhaps you can relate to a girl wanting a special part in a school play only to have it given to someone else and getting assigned to being a behind-the-scenes errand runner instead. What a big disappointment! This girl decided to embrace Colossians 3:23—"Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for man.” And then discovered that she had hidden talents she never knew she had. What disappointment are you experiencing today? Is this a gift in the making for you?

We all have times in our lives when we aren’t where we want to be or where we think we should be. But in those times, we can ask God which assignment He wants us to fully embrace today — right where we are. I can’t stop wondering what bad thing might have happened if my Kentucky family had continued coming through the bad weather? Would there have been an accident that they were kept from experiencing?

Dear Father God, thank You for using all things for my good, even disappointment. Help me to look at my disappointments with fresh eyes today, discovering gifts where I am tempted to only see heartache and sadness. And show me how I can love and serve others with passion and purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I am reminded of a couple of Bible verses—Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (NIV) and Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

Life’s disappointments produce sadness resulting from my/our unfulfilled expectations. One moment we are celebrating, and the next moment we might feel kind of slapped in the face by unexpected disappointment. I’m reminded of how Jesus faced a situation that caused great disappointment. He was God but was also human and He could experience emotional pain that He accepted as part of God’s plan. Judas’ plot to betray Him, led to the capture of Jesus. Then Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. How hurtful that all must have been for Jesus. He had called Judas His “friend”. He did not wallow in disappointment and self-pity as I might have done. Our Savior understands us when we face great disappointments.

In our Women’s Ministry group, we have been thinking about the Mary’s in the Bible.

We recently finished with the story of how Jesus loved Martha, her sister Mary, and their brother Lazarus. They expected He would come immediately after learning that Lazarus was sick. But Jesus didn’t come until after Lazarus had died.  And they were so disappointed. Are you like me and pray for God to intervene in a situation the way that we desire. But if He doesn’t, we’re confused and disappointed in Him. I can think of a time when I could not understand why my prayers—many of them, were not answered. I am sure you can too. At least I did not see an answer! Disappointment is sometimes the result of circumstances beyond our control, and if others are involved, it’s easy to blame them for the situation. I came close to even losing faith in God! It seemed He let me down. 

Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” This is a great reminder for me that despite how disappointed or sad I may feel, it won’t last forever. That disappointment should not keep me stuck in grief. I have to choose to trust that God has my best interests at heart, my life under control and good plans for my future. Several years ago, I did let my anger and grief and disappointment bog me down. It took me many months of anger and grief to finally get unstuck and let God show me what was next. I finally came to realize that God really did have a plan for me that I would never have planned to do had He not answered my pleading and disappointment in a different way than I wanted. I could have allowed disappointment to be a hindrance to happiness. Instead, I had to trust that God has good plans for me. Disappointment will lessen when our perspective of it changes, and we finally stop and consider it a new life direction from God rather than His neglect. But it took me a long time to figure that out. I shed tears for weeks but in time God dried those tears. And my disappointment was gradually replaced with some happiness with my new God chosen life for me. Sometimes we feel like giving up because of some big disappointment. We have a choice—allow disappointment to defeat you or allow something positive to come out of it. Plans sometimes are realized but sometimes they aren’t.

Disappointment is a feeling of sadness when something falls short of your expectation. Contrary to what many think, disappointment can be a good thing. It is better than having an I don’t care attitude and indifferent about everything. We are not robots! We are created in the image of God. Disappointment gives us an opportunity to grow! When William Miller and others experienced a great disappointment in 1844, they did not stay in disappointment. They continued to study and learn why they were disappointed and they continued to discover truth. Just because the truth was not what they believed, they became more knowledgeable and wiser. I had to correct my thinking and realize that God had another plan.  Disappointment can make me stronger—harsh, angry emotions make you tougher and more resilient.

It’s easy for me to say Why Me?! I need to remember that disappointments are not final! Believe it or not, dealing with disappointment can open up ways of finding hope, if I invite God to be part of that journey with me. I can rely on Him for support, love, and divine guidance because He understands my troubles and wants to help me work through my issues, if only I’d ask. It’s a funny thing that having faith in Him enables us to deal with the disappointment of life more effectively.  I am sure that many things we/I do cause God to have great disappointment. I would pray that I will never disappoint Him!

Oh yes, join me in prayer that our Kentucky family will be able to come at the end of next month—with no weather problems! We are looking forward to having them come for sure!


Disappointed but Hopeful—and Happy!

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Seeing God in Everyday Things