Has God ever disappointed you? He’s disappointed me, many times, if I’m going to be honest. Which obviously I am.
Several things have influenced this post. One, last week someone I know objected to Philip Yancey’s book ‘Disappointment with God’. I don’t think they quite understood the point of the book, nor Yancey’s style, which is usually about brutal honesty.
Second, I find myself once again disappointed with many things in my life that I have hoped for. And after each disappointment, each fresh realisation that actually certain things MAY NEVER happen that I hope(d) for, I have to go back to a startling revelation that was given to me years and years ago, and tends to become deeper and deeper every time I get to this point of disappointment: The point of my life is to find joy in it. In the life I have. In the circumstances I am in, regardless of what they are. The point is not to find joy in the life I wish I had; the life I live in my dreams; a life that can sometimes become so real that the only response to my own life is disappointment and depression and frustration that God doesn’t seem to care much about the life I WANT.
God is more committed to our life than we are. Let me reiterate it to drive it home. He is more committed to my life than I am. I want the life of my dreams, he wants me to enjoy the life I’ve actually got. It’s like I’m munching on a delicious and juicy nectarine but thinking to myself that I’d prefer an orange. Oh why, Lord, did you give me this delicious nectarine? I want an orange. And so I miss just how wonderful the nectarine is because my mind is thinking about how great it would be if I had an orange.
God seems very interested in giving us joy IN our circumstances, not just taking our circumstances away. Joy is in God, not in our circumstances going away. I have to keep learning that lesson. The miracle of a life in God is being joyous in the troubles of life, not the troubles of life just being taken away. Yes, God does take away some troubles, but there are other troubles that seem to stay. But yet God is there, ready to give us joy in the midst of those troubles, as we cling to our great hope that finally, one day, EVERY tear will be wiped away and everything will, at last, be made new. Including us.
About Ryan Peter
Ryan Peter is a writer, journalist and ghostwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes fantasy, sci-fi, inspirational fiction, and on faith. Ryan is also part of the New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) translocal team.