Disappointment
Lysa TerKeurst

"He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart." Ecclesiastes 5:20 (NIV)

The other day a friend asked me if I ever get disappointed.

I said "yes" and threw out a spiritually sound answer of how I process disappointment. It was an answer that would make most preachers proud.

And then the next day happened.

The day where a really big disappointment whacked me upside the head and sent my heart sinking. I'd been asked to speak at a really big event - one of the biggest of my life - and then things fell apart.

Invited- thrilled- excited- honored-included

turned into

Uninvited- bummed- sad- disillusioned- left out.

And while I still have solid spiritual perspectives to hold on to, my flesh just needs a minute to say, "Bummer!"

Sometimes things that come our way are a major bummer.

But right when I wanted say, "bummer" a few more times, I spotted a bowl that's been sitting on my dining room table for weeks now. Brooke found some caterpillars a while back, put them in a bowl, and has been holding them hostage ever since. I mean she's been lovingly admiring them underneath a layer of cellophane.

Wouldn't you know that those caterpillars formed cocoons inside that unlikely environment. And then today, as I was muttering "bummer," I glanced across that bowl and sucked the word back down my throat.

The cocoons were empty.

Expecting glorious butterflies, I had to chuckle when I got right over the bowl and closely examined the product of my little girl's hopes for new life.

Moths.

I just had to chuckle. Yet another thing in my day that wasn't quite right.

Or was it?

When Brooke spotted the moths, she was beyond thrilled. Grabbing my hand, she led me outside, ripped off the plastic barrier, and watched the beauty of tiny wings beating- beating- beating and finally fluttering into flight.

As I watched Brooke's sheer delight with the rich evidence of life before her, she couldn't have cared less if it was a moth or butterfly. A creature that once only knew the dirt of the earth had just been given the gift of flight. Reaching- soaring-up- up- and away.

And with that, this simple creature pulled the corners of my mouth up into a smile.

Disappointment only stings as long as I let it.

Dear Lord, I freely offer up whatever has been a disappointment to me lately as a sacrifice of praise to You. I know You love me so much, that this disappointment is really Your way of protecting me, providing something better, or just part of the process of growing me more like You. So, for all three of those I praise You- praise You- and praise You again for the good that is wrapped in this disappointment. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog to read more about how God can bring good out of disappointment.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Ask God to help you find some Scripture verses to serve as anchors of truth as you process your disappointment. Write them on note cards and carry them with you. On the back of each note card start listing the good that is in your life. Focus on praying prayers of thanksgiving over the good.

Reflections:
How might God use even this disappoint for good in my life? Instead of asking God, "Why?" why not ask God, "Since this is my reality, what now? How can I glorify You through this, Lord?"

Power Verses:
Hebrews 13:15, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name." (NIV)

Ephesians 4:2, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (NIV)

Mark 9:35, "…If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes and that can be applied to disappointment in marriage, friends, job. Whatever. I really loved this and I appreciate your candid sharing.
Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like a parent, God sent you something to cheer you up. That moth could have ventured out many days before or after, but God chose that very moment just for you. God bless you & thank you for sharing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How precious! What a delight to learn from a child!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Needed this today. THanks for the reminder.

Blogger Karissa said...

I'm looking for a daily devotional. I'm going to try out this one for a while. Thanks! I hear you on my local Christian radio station and klov.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. My husband's very sick right now, and can no longer work. I'm looking at taking a second job to make ends meet. Not exactly the future I pictured, but I know God's with me and has a plan.

Great post :) I love the line about disappointment only stinging as long as we let it. I wrote something today along those lines... my husband is away on training and something I've realized over the last several months of waiting and waiting and more waiting is that it seems God is just waiting for the right moment to give us a glimpse of the bigger picture, but sometimes He wants us to have our heart in the right place first.

Oh - and our caterpillar was a moth, too, but while I was unimpressed, my three year old was just as thrilled as if it had been a Monarch.

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thanks for a great devotion! We all face disappointments every now and then, so this was a great topic.

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