It has certainly been the year of disappointment, hasn’t it? Yet we can feel the tension in it as there has been more at home time, more family time and more stillness. Are we grateful or are we let down? Are we fearful, worried or anxious or are have we made memories, noticed the moments and drawn closer?
How do we move past the disappointments not just of culture but those personal disappointments that have battered our own hearts? Disappointment with our marriage, our child, our parent, our job, our situation, our loss.
Disappointment flows from a place of expectation that is not upheld. We expect the “formula” of marriage to hold firm. We expect the “right” child rearing to produce a certain type of kid. We expect hard work to be rewarded and commitment to bear fruit.
When our expectations are met with a different reality we are disappointed.
Disappointment can be like thick mud as it clings tightly and holds us in place, breeding ground for bitterness and resentment, killers of the soul.
A quote from Amy Carmichael (a missionary to India in the early 1900s) has been a balm to my disappointed soul lately. “In acceptance lies peace.”
Rather than fight to hold tightly to the muddy expectations of my control seeking soul, acceptance says, I entrust this to the God who is trustworthy and sovereign. He alone knows the end from the beginning and He does all things well.
Proverbs 3:5-6 has long been the mantra of my heart, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (ie., or your own expectations as you vie for control of what you cannot control). In all your ways acknowledge Him (see Him in it, recognize His hand on it and know you can therefore relax and remove your own!) and He will make your path straight (and work it all out for His glory).” Obviously the parentheses are mine.
In that acceptance of where He has planted me (whether in pain, loss, disappointment of expectations) lies the very peace my soul lacks.
What if today rather than cling tightly to that which makes most sense to our limited mind, we release our expectations and accept the people, place, season or even trial that He has us in and we look for how we can better know Him through it?
In that very place of acceptance I dare say, we just might find the peace we need.