And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. When we were unable to help ourselves, at the moment of our need, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:5-8
At some point in our lives we all face disappointment. There's no escaping and no way around it. It's going to happen. It's not even a question of if. It's a matter of when.
A few years before the disappointment of losing my father to melanoma, I had a life altering blow.
This blow happened by way of a cute little character, "The Pillsbury Doughboy". (Pictured above).
I loved the commercials. A talking, little white doughboy that would giggle when when touched in the belly.
My mom found out that you could order them and so she did. She kept telling me that I would have my very own Doughboy. Anticipation, coupled with lofty ideas of the fun I would have with my very own doughboy, were immediately shut down the moment he arrived.
I ripped into the box. Fully expecting this little guy to talk or at least giggle at the push of his belly. (I was only about 4). He did nothing. Not only did he do nothing, he was hard and plastic.
I'm not sure how long I cried over my disappointment but clearly I haven't failed to forget. I remember the devastation. Felling deflated. Unprepared. Utterly disappointed.
That's what disappointment does. It leaves us feeling depressed, confused and sometimes overwhelmed. We struggle to find the answer to why. Why now? Why me? Why, oh why?
Luckily, my disappointment didn't last long, at least not my first recollection of letdown.
The thing I've learned, is that often disappointments come as a result of our expectations. You see, I had these lofty expectations because of the commercials with the cute, lovable doughboy.
Isn't that what we do with people? We place undue and lofty expectations on people, especially those closest to us. Our spouse. Our children. Our parents. Our closest friends. And when they fail to meet our expectation, we get disappointed. We feel letdown. Angry. Hurt.
And then the worst of the worst happens, we get disappointed with God. He fails to answer our prayers or so we think. A loved one dies. A marriage falls apart. A child goes astray. Infertility. Abuse. Financial ruin. The list goes on and on. Again those feelings of hurt, anger and disappointment consume our thoughts and our minds.
Having spent a good portion of my younger years and even into my early adulthood being utterly and overwhelmingly shattered by lofty and unrealistic expectations, I am fully aware and attune to these feelings. And I would be lying if I told you that, from time to time, they still creep in.
What do I do when I'm feeling disappointed and letdown? The first thing I do is look to see where I was placing my expectation. People are going to let you down every time. You simply cannot put your full expectation in them. No matter how good they are, we are all human. We are going to mess up.
Secondly,, I take every ounce of frustration and tell it to God. Sometimes, I even wrote it out. That includes when I am feeling like my unanswered prayers are bouncing off the walls or when he says, "no". When I do this, I am reminded of his great promises to me!
You know what happens when I am reminded that He loves and adores me? Or that He will be with me wherever I go? Or that this life is only a temporary dwelling and He is preparing a place for me? I am thankful. I am grateful. I am humbled. I become overwhelmed with joy and peace. Disappointments and trials are gonna come. It is what is. It's how we respond that will change everything, even us. He is our hope.