In light of all the celebration and ambiance of the Christmas season, unfortunately, being disappointed is a common feeling around this time. In addition to the disappointment with unexpected gifts, lack of parking availability at the mall, pushy people seeking handouts, and department stores lacking in vast selection of the clothing sizes I need, the end of another year brings to light disappointments with life.
I'm not where I thought I would be in my career. I'm driving the same 15 year old car I thought we would have sold by now. Offers I have pursued failed. Friendships I have promised to keep kindled I haven't. In addition, change for which I have been praying for over a year has not occurred and doesn't seem to be occurring any time soon, and persistence with writing has been stifled with busyness and bad excuses.
Although my disappointment is embarrassing because of the fact that I am so blessed, I'm glad that God is not surprised with my disappointment.
I was reminded this weekend through Pastor Tom Holladay, that my disappointments are God's plan, which again, is disappointing. I also was reminded that God has not lost sight of the purpose He has for my life, which is encouraging.
Joseph and Mary were bombarded with disappointment and this is what I can learn from them:
I need to wait. I need to continue to wait, and wait, and wait. God's timing is perfect. Mary and Joseph had to wait, and it paid off in the end by her giving birth to Jesus.
I need to obey. Joseph and Mary obeyed God and I need to obey God in this season of disappointment.
I need to give gifts to others and encourage people who are doing what they love to do, and who are in a state of contentment and perfect joy. Giving gifts always changes my attitude and helps me to refocus on Christ. Encouraging others has the same effect.
I need to share God's good news. My disappointment by no means gives me an excuse for not sharing what God has done in my life. Satan wants to use my bad attitude to steer me away, but I need to draw even closer to Jesus.
I love what happens in Mark chapter 9 verse 19. The disciples are trying to drive out a demon from a possessed boy and they are unable. When they ask Jesus why they could not perform the exorcism Jesus replies, "You unbelieving generation. How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." Even the disciples were disappointed with the outcome of their ministry. However, Jesus knew that their disappointed outcome was a direct reflection of their lack of belief.
When I learn fully to rest in God's faithfulness, my disappointment with dissipate. When I learn to trust in His timing, joy will cover my discontent. When I earnestly seek Him and believe, not for a moment but for the long haul, my bitterness will turn to joy.
I'm grateful that God doesn't get tired of teaching me. I am blessed with His reminders. I am waiting and obeying knowing that freedom and release will come as long as I continue to concentrate on Jesus Christ.
I just need to reminded every now and again.