I was hoping to get a video of a Space Center launch this morning. I was standing in my backyard, bare-footed in the wet grass, camera set to video, heart racing, all ready to get a video of the rocket going right over the house (which is the pathway it usually takes) so I could post it and make everyone back up North say, “Wow! That’s really cool!”
So, there I was…standing…waiting….standing some more….still waiting….waiting…..waiting….
Nada! Nichts! Nuttin, Honey!
As disappointment began to set in, I realized that this is not unusual- they have scrapped launches before, and even though the sky overhead is nearly cloudless, at the KSC (Kennedy Space Center) it could be storming wildly. That’s how it is, here, in Florida.
Then I thought that life is a series of disappointments: in ourselves, in our family, our children, parents, friends, our religious leaders, Presidents (oh, really?), and pretty much in everyone at one time or another.
The one who we know will never disappoint us is God, right? Well, maybe not. We know God loves us and answers prayer, but sometimes He will allow us to suffer (mostly because we have done something we shouldn’t have done) and sometimes His answer to our prayers is, “Nope! Not gonna happen.” And sometimes it seems like He has taken a holiday and turned off the cell phone. We call to Him, we ask His help, we cry out to the Lord and all we get is voice mail.
Jonah was disappointed in God when he didn’t destroy Nineveh. Elijah was disappointed after he showed God’s awesomeness at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18) and then cried to God that he wanted to die because he was the only prophet left (he wasn’t, in case you are wondering), Moshe wasn’t too happy when Pharaoh ordered the Jews to make bricks without straw after Moshe asked for their freedom, and I’ll bet that you’ve had some time, or times, in your life when you have felt a little less than happy with what God was allowing in your life.
I know I have.
The thing to remember during these down times is that once we are down we have no where left to go but up, and God is always there. We may not hear or feel Him, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t there. We don’t see the sun at night, but it’s still there. In fact, the moon is evidence of the sun’s presence, because it reflects the light the sun gives off. We don’t see the sun, but we do see the evidence of it’s presence.
That’s what we need to do when we don’t see God in our life: we need to look for the evidence of His presence. Even if we don’t feel Him, we can always see His effect on others, we can see Him working in the lives of people all around us, and we can take hope and comfort in knowing that, although it is disappointing to feel left out (for the moment), God is still alive and well and kicking.
The enemy loves to see us disappointed, sad, feeling lonely, and harboring feelings of defeat. God gives us a spirit of victory, not defeat, and every victor has suffered defeat. We don’t learn from our victories, we learn from our defeats. We don’t appreciate the good times unless we have suffered through bad times.
We can’t appreciate the love of God before we know Him. When I was unsaved I didn’t know God’s love or appreciate anything He had done in my life. I was blessed with many talents and opportunities, and I never even knew what wonderful things He had done for me. After I knew the Lord, after I accepted His grace and His spirit filled me, well, then I realized how wonderful it all has been. Even the bad times. Now I can really appreciate the Lord for all He has provided and is providing, and I thank Him, every day.
Disappointments are necessary things in life. In fact, without disappointment there can not be a fullness of joy, there can not be a true feeling of appreciation, and there can not be progress. Always winning is not winning- it is stagnation and unrewarding. There is, if nothing else in this world, a sense of balance that was divinely built into our existence. Shaul (that nice Jewish tent maker from Tarsus) tells us that before the Torah was given, there was no sin; in fact, he says the Torah created sin (Romans 7:7) and in his own way (convoluted would be the term I respectfully use for Shaul’s manner of writing) Shaul (if you haven’t figured it out yet I am talking about Paul) shows us that the Torah is still valid and necessary because we haven’t fully come under Yeshua’s rule. Not until all things have come to pass will anything in the Torah be changed or invalidated (Matthew 5:17.)
Disappointment offers you two options in how you can react: one is to wallow in sadness and self-pity, which eventually will help the enemy separate you from God, and the other is to accept this as an opportunity for joy, comfort and hope when you remind yourself this is only a temporary situation. God will never let those who worship Him go long without what they need, and he is more than able to provide all you need, shaken, pressed down and overflowing.
Just keep running the good race, keep you eyes on the prize, don’t look back, don’t worry about what anyone else has, and stay focused on your walk with God.
God is always there, He is never sleeping or slumbering, and he is always able to help. Just reach out, and be patient.
He is a busy guy, so give Him some slack and wait for your turn. I can guarantee it is coming.
PS: The launch did go off and the trail over the house was spectacular! Only by the time I saw it the rocket had passed by and was over the horizon, and all I had left to photograph was the cloud trail left behind. Another disappointment. Oh well, SWISH!! (search for ‘swish’ if you didn’t read that blog post)