Showing Up in Disappointment


chris and his brother greg

Have you ever been disappointed with God? Of course, the religious answer is a quick no. But the real answer that we often don't feel like we can express is yes. As I was making the ICU waiting room my home for over three weeks, I really thought God was going to come riding in on His white horse and rescue us, raise up my son, and heal him. Then, we could get back to life as usual. When that didn't happen, I became disappointed.

I had tons of questions that we are indirectly told by religion we can't ask. Instead of being condemned by God for asking the hard questions, I felt accepted. I also learned that I wasn't alone. Scriptures I'd read a hundred times before began to stand out to me. For instance, I read Pslam 13 over and over. In this psalm alone, David cries out to God.

How long, O Lord?

Will you forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,

having sorrow in my heart daily?

I learned that God did not cast David away for expressing the disappointment in his heart. I had trusted that God was going to take care of my kids and family. After all, I was headed to Africa to work for Him. God can handle our misconceptions of Him. 

Think about the women who came to the tomb early on Sunday morning expecting to find the body of Jesus. Like the disciples and other followers, they had the misconception that Jesus was coming to set up a physical kingdom. When He was crucified, all their hopes, dreams, and lifelong beliefs died with Him. But in spite of their disappointment, they showed up that morning at the tomb with oil to anoint His body. 

Things had not gone as they supposed, yet they still chose worship. Isn't that where we find ourselves sometimes? Life took a few unexpected turns. Our emotions are raw. We're not sure what the future looks like anymore because all we thought it held has died along the way. But here we are, still showing up with our disappointed selves.

You know what happens, then? God meets us there. The empty tomb became a meeting place. Jesus met the women there, revealed Himself to them, and sent them back with a mission. They did not expect to see Him alive that morning. But He showed up because they showed up even though they were disappointed. I believe God shows up for us, too! We may be angry, disappointed, confused, and displaced in this life. But when we bring our disappointments to Him, He will meet us there. Every. Single. Time.

Today, I will bring my disappointments to Him. Why? Because He's the only one who can heal that kind of broken heart. I'll remind myself that He is the only one who can calm the stormy seas of my heart. I'll meditate on how He has walked with me through each disappointment. He keeps showing up, so I chose to keep showing up for Him. He has been with me in every storm, every trial, every hard spot, every trouble, and through every long, dark night of the soul. I can trust that He'll be in my today, too. I will give it all to Him one more time. Will you join me?


Cover of my study guide "Making of a Leader"

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