Even writing the title for this post makes me question the logic of calling disappointment a blessing. Isn’t disappointment really more like the absence of blessings in the first place, or the loss of a blessing once known?
I guess I’m thinking of what disappointment can drive me to do.
True, it can drive me to sadness and anger and despair and doubt. It can make me question why I’m being left out or forgotten or slighted or let down. It can make me focus on what I’m lacking or what I’m longing for but not realizing. Disappointment can feel like salt rubbed in a wound.
It can also remind me of where blessings come from in the first place.
Psalm 121 says:
I look up to the mountains…does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The LORD himself watches over you. The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (New Living Translation)
God sees my hopes and my aspirations. He knows my desires and He knows my fears. His heart is full of love for me and a desire to bless me. He watches over me and knows my needs so much more deeply and accurately than I do. He knows my frailty and he sustains me in bounty and in brokenness.
There are things that I am praying for now that I have not yet seen come to be. Hopes that I am holding very close that aren’t yet realized. I’m spending seasons of every day tossed somewhere between confident requests for Divine intervention and angry yalps of pouty immaturity. I’m spending most of my time in the same boat as disappointment.
To be honest, I’m not consistently sensing the blessing of feeling disappointed. My anger and frustration don’t mesh in nicely with the fruit of the Spirit. Still, I know – deep inside – that God is watching over my coming and going and caring passionately for me. He is refining me; making and remaking me in His image for His glory. Isaiah 42:3 comes to mind:
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and He won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but He’ll steadily and firmly set things right. (The Message)
That’s me in that verse. The bruised and the hurt. And that’s God right next to me, choosing not to disregard the small and insignificant. Choosing to steadily set things right. I’m so glad that God is merciful and patient and loving with impatient schmucks like me.
If I controlled all the switches and got to prioritize the Almighty’s to-do list, my desired answers to prayer would already be in pocket and D would stand for Delighted. I’m still waiting, though, so I get to decide every moment whether to slop around in Devastation or peek past the curtains of Despair and find the delicate edge of blessing in a Disappointment that drives me back to trusting in the hand of a Divine God.
Dear Heavenly Father, You who created the heavens also formed my heart. You know my desires and you’ve heard my prayers. You’ve seen the anger of my disappointment, too. Please forgive me for impatience. Help me to rest in the reality of Your love for me. Help me to be still and know that You are a God who cares for my needs and watches over me. Use my yearning to shape me into a man who hungers for You and Your righteousness. Let me be content in Your will instead of demanding my own. Help me to see disappointment as a blessing and a reminder that every good and perfect thing comes, ultimately, from You. Please let my life reflect that reality.