1999-09-08 - Disappointment with God
My grandmother recently told me about baking some zucchini bread for a friend. She baked two loaves of bread, took one to her friend and saved one for herself. The next day she ate a piece of the zucchini bread, only to be shocked when it did not taste right. She looked in the vegetable bin of her refrigerator and realized her mistake. Instead of grabbing the zucchini for the bread she had retrieved a cucumber! Needless to say she was disappointed. I tell you this humorous story to illustrate a serious point and to define disappointment.
Disappointment happens when our expectations are not met by our experiences.
I am sure many of you, like myself, have experienced or are experiencing disappointment in your life. Today I want to focus in on disappointment with God. Let's get really honest with each other, ok? Have you ever been disappointed with God? I have, many times. I have screamed at God in prayers, why God, why does this happen? Why did this turn out this way? Why are You allowing these people or this person to do this to me? I have yelled in prayer to God, why can't that couple have children? Why does my faithful mother have Parkinson's? Why did that child get cancer? Why did that person not get that job or promotion that seems so perfect for them? Why did that business partner turn out to be so dishonest? Why was he unfaithful to her? Like David in the Bible, I sometimes grow weary, and even worse, my disappointments in God turn into doubts about God. Look what David wrote:
Psalm 69:3 (NLT) I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched and dry. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.
A very wrong understanding of God on my part caused my biggest disappointments with God. My theology was like Monty Hall on "Let's make a Deal." My door number one looked like this, "God I will be faithful and righteous the best I can, and in return, God, You will make all things in my life perfect." With this thinking, my expectation of God always exceeded my experiences with God. The cycle feeds on itself: Disappointment, anger, doubt, then withdrawal from God. So, what do we need to do? Glad you asked.
Nowhere in the Bible can I find that God promises us a perfect life on this earth. In fact, I can find verses that say just the opposite.
Jesus speaking in John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Philippians 1:29 (NCV) God gave you the honor not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for him, both of which bring glory to Christ.
So the question remains, what can we expect of God? If we can understand what to expect of God, then maybe our expectations will not exceed what He has promised us.
What We Can Expect of God
So, there you have it. I hope you hung with in here with me and finished reading this devotional, and of course I hope you aren't disappointed. Seriously, somehow in the trials and tribulations of life, try to remember that there really is a very loving God, who has a plan for our lives here on earth and has a perfect life awaiting us in heaven.
Father, we do not always understand You. Just help us to remember that You are in control and that You will see us through the hard times. Forgive us for doubting you during our trials, while only praising You through the good times. We love You and thank You for all you have done for us. In Christ's name, Amen.