Penny, my kitty, is disappointed.
The weather has been so beautiful lately, here in Sunny Florida. Like the rest of us, Penny wants to spend every moment she can outside (which, for her, is the screened porch). Unfortunately, a storm front has rolled in with incessant thunder and lightning. The porch is currently too scary for kitties.
So, Penny is stuck inside with me. She’s letting me know her displeasure by meowing very loudly every few minutes. I’ve tried all the tricks, including throwing paper balls at her (her favorite pastime), but nothing is as good as watching squirrels from the porch. Or so she says.
I’ve explained to Penny that the storm is still raging, but she won’t take my word for it. Nor does she believe what she sees out the window because, apparently, that could still be different than the actual weather outside. (That’s what we call “kitty logic.”)
A couple minutes ago, I opened the door for her—again—so she could see the conditions for herself. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed. She stood there, deflated. I scooped her up and said in my best fur-mommy voice, “I know you’re disappointed, Penny. I know what it’s like to be disappointed.”
My Own Disappointments
As my ears heard what my mouth said, I realized how true a statement it was.
Looking back on my life, I see hundreds of moments of disappointment. As a child, I would get upset if an exciting trip or event was canceled, or it didn’t turn out to be as fun as I had hoped…or I wasn’t invited in the first place. Then, there were friendships that fizzled or broke. Loved ones who passed away. Opportunities that never materialized. Accomplishments or awards I never received. I’ve had my heart broken in lots of ways, some big and some small.
I am familiar with disappointment. And I bet you are, too.
Perhaps you’re thinking of a childhood memory, or maybe it’s something that happened just this week. Love may be the universal language, but disappointment is its ugly sidekick.
The God Who Never Disappoints
There are two synonyms for disappointment: letdown and dashing hopes. We feel disappointed when our hopes are dashed.
So, what are your hopes? I mean the big ones. Do you place your hope in education? In being a good person? In our political or judiciary system? In our military?
King David said his hope was in the Lord:
- “I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14 NAS)
- “You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5 NAS)
- “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (Psalm 42:5 NAS)
David put all his hope in God because he knew something profound:
If God is our hope,
and nothing can break or diminish God,
then our hope is unbreakable.
We cannot be disappointed with God.
Get God’s Perspective
It’s true that bad things still happen in this world. But God is the one who sees us through them. He’s the one who carries us when it gets too hard for us to go on. He’s not the bad guy in our sad story. He’s the hero who gives us a new story.
Unlike comic book heroes, though, our God doesn’t just show up to fix our problems. He is always with us. We can—and we should—know Him before the bad stuff happens. In fact, if we focus our lives on Him, we can see our disappointments through His perspective.
We can appreciate that God had a better plan. We can trust that He was watching over us. We can be thankful for the rain instead of mad at the storm.
I encourage you to get to know the Lord now by reading the Bible daily and praying often. When something bad does happen, ask God for guidance and comfort. Let Him soothe your heart and set you on a right path.
If you know others who are going through disappointments, encourage them. Use this as an opportunity to share with them God’s love and mercy. Show them that God is alive and relevant, and that He never disappoints.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 NAS)