Tag Archives: disappointment

Dreams and Disappointment

1 Chronicles 17

I am always convicted when I read how King David reacts to disappointment. His disappointment wasn’t like that of someone with a craving finding out Dunkin Donuts just sold their last jelly donut. David had a passion. And it was a good one.

Out of his overflowing love of God, David wanted to build a temple worthy of housing the Ark of the Covenant, a place deserving of the Presence of God. That, to me, is a worthy cause, one that would seemingly be pleasing to God.

I’m pretty sure David laid awake at night picturing how he would build the Temple; a wall here, a window there. Maybe he even did a Joanna Gaines and pictured where the furniture would go, the color scheme, the shiplap. I think David planned a home fit for the King of the Universe. Nothing would be too good or too expensive in building a temple for the God he loved so much.

But God told him, “NO!” Put on the brakes, there, David. I’ve got other plans.

God shut the door on that project. David would not build the temple. He wouldn’t realize his dream. God said so.

Have you ever had God shut a door on your plans? A relationship ends. You don’t get the job you’ve prepared for all your life. A ministry you really want goes to someone else. Maybe your child quits playing baseball, shattering your dreams of a professional career.

How do you react? How did David react? He looked toward heaven and said, “Thank you.” You heard me right. God said, “No.” David said, “Thank you.”

Verse 6 says:

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me thus far?

I hope you’ll read David’s prayer. He goes on to praise God for blessing him way more than he deserves. He lays his dreams at the feet of God – and lets go. How? How could he not at least question God’s judgment or try to talk God into changing His mind?

Read it.

Then ask yourself: has God been faithful to me in the past? Am I blessed?

You know He has and you are! So don’t doubt God will continue to be faithful, continue to bless, even if you don’t understand Him at the moment.

David shows me that he loved God more than he loved his dreams. Every time I read this portion of Scripture, I find myself asking if the same can be said of me.

Genesis 29-30 A Test Of Character

Years ago I was shopping with my sister and her young son, who was probably three or four at the time. It had been a long day, and he’d missed nap time. We walked into one store and he immediately started to cry. He’d seen something he wanted and his mom said no.

I know you know where I’m going with this. Bear with me.

She took his hand and started to walk, but he cried a bit louder. Then louder still. She knelt in front of him to help him understand why she’d said no. But the more she talked, the louder he got until his crying became full blown screaming.

If you’re a parent you probably relate. Shopping with a tired three year old isn’t always easy.

Makes me think about the reaction of so many college kids to President Trump’s election, or the juvenile protests by way too many adults. (really, Hollywood? Don’t make movies for eight years. Most of us won’t miss you. And besides, your greed and egos won’t let you stay away eight minutes, much less eight years)

But here I am throwing stones when I need to take care of a plank in my own eye. How do I, as a Christian adult, react to failure or disappointment, or to someone else’s opinion? How I answer that reveals so much about my character before God and man.

Say what you will about Jacob, he demonstrated some pretty solid character when Laban pulled the old switch-er-oo on his wedding night. Waking up next to Leah must have been a shock. Disappointment? Betrayal? At the very least.

But we don’t read that Jacob threw a fit, or rallied his friends to destroy property, or hid in his tent in a fetal position and sucking his thumb. We see Jacob go to his father-in-law and talk man to man. We see Jacob voicing his frustration, turning around and doing what he had to do in light of the circumstances. It set him back another seven years. Yet Jacob’s handling of his disappointment in this situation has him passing the character test in my book.

It’s unrealistic to insist you always get your way, or that everyone should agree with you, or that things should always be fair. You will fail. People will disappoint you. Someone will cut you off in traffic.

Dear one, you aren’t three any more. Don’t react like you are. As a Christian, you represent Jesus to a world that needs to see Him in you. And they are watching to see if your reactions to failure or disappointment looks any different than theirs.

I have to confess that during my nephew’s tantrum in the store that day, this aunt quietly walked away, putting some distance between me and the noise, and pretending I was interested in the jewelry display.

I’m reminded that Thomas Edison is reported to have said that he found 10,000 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb. I’m sure he was disappointed 10,000 times. But he kept working toward the goal. I’m glad he didn’t throw a tantrum and quit after his first try… or his 9,999th.

I want to keep working toward my goal, too. I don’t ever want my actions to cause anyone to want to put distance between them and me, between them and Jesus because of me. I want to surrender my character to Jesus, to become that new creature He says I can be. I want to handle failure and disappointment and reveal the kind of character that will draw people to their Savior.

Father, I thank you for the convicting work of Your Holy Spirit as I read Your Word. I don’t always react to bumps in the road in ways that honor You. Sometimes I reveal a weak character when I throw a grown-up tantrum that looks very much like a child’s. God, I surrender my life, my thoughts, my actions, who I am, to You and ask You to mold me into a woman of Christ-like character. May people see Jesus in me in every circumstance. And may they be drawn to You by my example. For Jesus’ sake.



May 7 – I’m Quite The Bowler

2 Samuel 7, I Chronicles 17

Years ago I was having lunch with several co-workers in the teacher’s lounge of the school where we taught. One of our fellow teachers walked in a little late, and quietly sat on the couch instead of at the table with the rest of us. The look on her face told us her morning had not gone well.

The night before, I had read an article in our local newspaper about this woman’s husband bowling his second perfect game of the year. It was a nice article, and included a picture of him that took up almost half a page.

So I said, “That was a nice write-up in the paper about (John). He’s quite the bowler, isn’t he?”

She glared at me and replied, “I’M quite the bowler!” She gathered her things and abruptly left the lounge.

King David wanted to build a temple for God. It was a passionate desire. But God had other plans. He told David that another king, David’s son, would have that privilege instead.

What was David’s reaction? He was excited for his son. He gave thanks to God. He didn’t express a hint of jealousy or disappointment.

It’s really not human nature to sit back and let someone else get noticed for something you know you can do at least as well. Maybe you complete a project at work, and your boss takes the credit. Or you witness faithfully to your neighbor, only to have someone else pray with her to accept the Lord.

Maybe you sat first chair clarinet every year from eighth grade through college, only to have your dad tell you how talented your sister is. (Sorry, Kathy, for all those years of resentment. The truth is you ARE a talented woman. I am so proud of you, and love being your big sister.)

I think having David’s attitude is much more pleasing to God than mine or my co-worker’s attitudes were. Don’t waste time being jealous of anyone for any reason. Jealousy is a sin, and it keeps us from the joyful relationship God wants us to have with Him.

I’ve come to realize that the only praise I want to hear is God, seeing me wearing the righteousness of His Son, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”