Handling Disappointment

A series of disappointments that felt like setbacks piled on top of one another in my life recently.  Nothing unbearably grievous but discouraging and painful nonetheless.  I found myself waiting for the tide to turn and things to "balance themselves out".  For some affirmative answers to prayers instead of the no's and even wait's that kept coming.

Another disappointment showed up instead.

How do you handle the curveballs of life?  Do you get angry?  Do you try harder?  Do you give up?

I tend to plod.  Stiff upper lip, and all that. If I'm not careful, I will withdraw and become spiritually numb. I know in my head that God is lovingly sovereign and that He is at work on my behalf and that He is always good.

But I still wanted a "yes".  Instead of a no. 

I didn't pitch a fit at God.  I didn't whine or accuse Him of being unfair.

But I did pour out my complaint before Him. 

I wasn't telling Him anything He didn't already know but it helped me to empty my heart of the hurt into the only lap that could help.  And to let Him comfort me.   Ultimately, after a few days of this pouring out, I felt renewed.  The courage came back.  And the joy.

But the pouring out was a critical necessity.

In the midst of the process, I was reading Prayer by Tim Keller.  Powerful book.  I suggest you take a look at it. In the section on struggling/asking for help, Keller shares the brief points of an old sermon by Jonathan Edwards.  I found it encouraging.  Thought you might as well.

1.  Our bad things will turn out for good.  (Romans 8:28)
2.  Our good things can never be taken away from us (Psalm 4:6-7)
3.  The best things are yet to come (I Corinthians 2:9)

Pretty simple.

Profoundly truthful.

Powerfully helpful.

Oh, one other tidbit for today -- I read this book on suggestion from my son.  He learned (from his youth pastor, I think??) to write notes from the book on the blank pages at the back.  That way, it not only sticks with him but it also serves as "spark notes" for later reference.  Isn't that a great idea?