I have to admit I do not handle disappointment well. When people disappointment me there's an automatic response in me to withdraw. I don't even realize I'm doing it most times and many times it's a subtle withdrawal: a facial expression, the absence of a smile, a polite coldness. I'm often not aware that I am subtly withdrawing until someone points it out to me. It's something I have struggled with for a very long time, but I need to learn to make peace with disappointment because it's a guarantee that people will disappoint you from time to time. Disappointment from people is inevitable, but what do you do when you feel disappointed by God? I don't know. I'm working through this right now.
Anyone who walks with God long enough will experience disappointment with God. It's a part of the authentic journey with God. Walk with God long enough and God will disappoint you. Not because God wants to hurt your feelings, not because God ceases to be faithful; God never ceases to be faithful, but because God often does the unexpected and often leaves the expected undone. Our disappointment stems from our expectations of God and sometimes, as in any relationship, our expectations need to be adjusted.
I am disappointed with God right now regarding a major area of my life. I have asked for God's help with something that I cannot make happen on my own and it hasn't happened yet. I feel like it's been a long time. I have watched many other people in my life have what I am still praying for and there are times when I can't help but ask, "God where are you? Do you see me? Can't you see that I'm hurting? Do you care? When are you going to do something? I can't make this happen on my own and I don't think I can wait much longer." It's hard. It's frustrating. I feel it's unfair. I don't know what to do.
I withdrew from God in prayer because I couldn't help but feel that God was responsible for my pain in some way. Has anyone else ever felt that way? I felt that God was just watching me go through life with a broken heart and not doing anything so I withdrew. I stopped talking to God in prayer and in doing so I cut myself off from a major source of strength in my life. Big mistake!
So what do I do now? My back is against the wall. I can't fall back on my default position: withdrawal; that's not working. Giving God the silent treatment is accomplishing nothing! I cannot deny that God is faithful. Even in the midst of my disappointment I see God taking care of me in other ways. I have no choice but to begin to make peace with my disappointment, to begin again with God, to try to have a different understanding of what it means to walk with God. I don't quite know how to do that, but I am committed to staying on the journey. I will share more about this in my next entry. Thanks for walking alongside me on this journey so far.
Following the Way,