Wait, what? How can good and disappointment be put together like it is in the title of this post? They seem more contrary than complementary. I mean, the nature of a disappointment is that it is dissatisfying, displeasing, disenchantment, and disillusionment, a feeling of sadness or frustration because something was not as good as expected. So how can something be a good disappointment?
I’m sure you have faced some disappointments in life; a job not working out, an accident, an argument with a friend, car trouble, your team not winning, someone lying to you…and you can add your own to the list. There are also those deep disappointments that are more tragedies in life; cancer, a natural disaster, a life-changing accident or sickness, losing your home, a marriage dissolving…and the list can go on as well. The reality of life is that there are disappointments, some huge and some not so devastating. So how can there be a good disappointment?
Now, what would be nice here is a formula we could plug our disappointments into and work through so we actually feel good, but honestly I don’t know how helpful or all-encompassing that would really be. What I do know is what the Bible teaches us…in all of life to focus on God.
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If you read the context (verse around this) Jesus is encouraging the disciples to deal with the little frustrations (disappointments) of life by seeking God’s Kingdom which is Jesus on the throne of life. So we are to focus on Jesus, who He is and His purposes. Jesus also said:
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus wants us to seek Him out through prayer and attention when we are weary and burdened about the disappointments of life. David of the Bible faced many disappointments and great tragedies. Much of Psalm are David’s talking out loud about his feelings as he is struggling to focus on God. Psalm 30 is one of those encounters (you might want to read it…sure I’ll wait). As David concludes he says this…
Psalm 30:10-12 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
God has a way of turning disappointments into good, either good for us, good for His purposes, or good for others. And God is an expert at this transformation. So it makes sense to trust in Him. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Our own understanding is that disappointment is just that, a dark experience on the time line of life. Yet when we focus on God, it becomes something good. Good not in the sense that the experience should not be difficult or erasing all the other feelings we may experience, but it should give us hope that God is going to do some good with this, and He does.
You see, life will always have disappointments, yet when we focus on God; go to Him in prayer, think of who He is, remembering how much He loves us, considering His way of life, good rises to the surface. Why not give it a try? God can turn our crying into dancing.
Seeking the Good in Disappointment with you,
P.S. This Sunday our church is holding its Annual Celebration. It’s one big Sunday service at 10am, with a short meeting right after and a fun summer lunch cooked by our own Holy Grill. I would sure love it if you could attend. It’s all free! Oh, and by the way, as you come to church this Sunday you might notice something different! See if you can figure it out.