Where is God in our disappointment? What do we do when life fails to meet our expectations and the mundane replaces the dream we once had for our future?
Join with us over the next few days to read teaching, thoughts and insights (plus a few real-life stories) from the Activate Team as we discuss all aspects of this topic. The main points come from a preach that Sarah McKerney delivered recently. She found two books particularly useful in her preparation:
I hope this series helps you – please share with friends and get in touch with any stories you would like to share. It is always great to hear from you!
Day 1: What is Disappointment?
SNAPSHOT from Rhiannon:
I love the Pinterest world of the perfect birthday cakes, 5 steps to peace, birthday parties that make an impact, daily exercise charts to get the perfect shaped bum or flat tummy, 3 steps to the child of your dreams. And all this is one pin away…
But most things I pin do not meet my expectations and it’s a little disappointing … my minion cake pops were the worse yet! A wonderful idea but unfortunately life does not look like my Pinterest board. It’s more like the back of a tapestry: knots and pulls, pieces of cotton that fling up and I have no idea what they are doing, coloured cotton in directions I did not plan and never thought I would go in and every now and again a pattern I recognise! Life can throw us a curve ball and a crushing blow and this leads to disappointment.
Disappointment can come in various guises. I can be disappointed with my health, or family relationships, or finances, or even in myself or God.
KEY POINT from Sarah:
Disappointment occurs when our expectation is greater than the reality of what we actually experience. It is a sadness caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations. When the reality of our life hasn’t met the expectations we held for it and we’ve lost what we hope for or longed after, it can often lead to us feeling disappointed in God.
Disappointment can be just a temporary emotion over a film failing to live up to your expectations or it may be a major disappointment over infertility, the loss of a loved one, a divorce we wanted desperately to prevent or disloyalty from a trusted friend. These kinds of disappointment tend to remain within us and affect our reactions to everything.
It is not a sin to feel disappointed. The Bible is full of disappointed people! Think about Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth. Their childlessness was a disappointment they carried year after year. Elijah the prophet was so disappointed because his expectation of revival was nothing like the reality of having the king of Israel wanting to kill him. His EXPECTATION didn’t match with the REALITY he was experiencing.
He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4)
TO SUM UP:
We’ll work through this topic together and see if we can grasp hold of the crucial things: WHY God allows us to go through disappointment and HOW we can handle it.