Posted by: ritagone | June 15, 2011

Disappointment

Disappointment.

We all experience it.

Whether it’s something mundane like not liking the movie “Super 8” as much as you expected to (it was no “E.T.,” I can tell you!), or eating at a restaurant you thought was going to be good but turned out not to be, or something pretty significant like having a longtime friend hurt your feelings behind your back by saying words about you she shouldn’t have to someone else, disappointment is all around us.

Lately I feel disappointed a lot.

Why is that? I ask myself.  What is it within myself that is making me so prone to being disappointed lately?  I know that I can feel my blood boil when I watch politicians on television, for example, their idle promises, their constant talk, talk, talk that gets us nowhere.  I’m wishing they would just shut up and admit that they have no idea how to fix anything.  They can’t even fix themselves.  Oh, they’ve learned how to take pictures of themselves on their mobile phones and send them off inappropriately, all right.  But any 11-year-old can do that.  I’m disappointed that these are the people who our country expects to get us out of financial and social trouble.  The fact that it will never happen disappoints me.

In fact, disappointment isn’t strong enough a word.

And then I’m disappointed in myself that I get so worked up about politicians and their stupidity and inabilities and inanities, because I know better.  I’ve been a believer and I’ve lived long enough to understand that man is foolish and puffed up and going in the wrong direction in so many ways; so why am I still surprised?

I’m disappointed in big things and small things, like the rut church services get into – including my own —  with their own liturgy while criticizing the liturgy of others, or worship leaders who are, come on, let’s be honest, performing up there on stage and not really caring at all whether the audience…I mean the congregation… is included in the worship experience at all as long as they get to sing and shout their talent to the Lord and people who put up with it week in and week out and month in and month out and year in and year out because they’re too darned lazy to do anything about it and I don’t want to wallow in the mud of disappointment and linger there.  (And now I am disappointed and rather breathless.)

And lately I’ve been lingering in my disappointment and perhaps maybe even enjoying it a bit too much, savoring it like a fine wine.  “Hey, look at me, I’m disappointed, and doesn’t it look like a nice martyr’s outfit on me?” I’m perhaps thinking, and maybe you can see that too apparently on my face and my body language when you see me.

And then, the more I think about it, the more I read God’s Word and pray and talk to Him, I realize that the one disappointment I’ve never experienced in my life has been a disappointment in God, in Jesus Christ.  No matter what, He has never let me down.  I’ve let Him down many a time.  But He’s never disappointed me.  Never.

But wasn’t Jesus disappointed with those people He walked among?  Certainly.  I’m reading through the gospels this month via youversion.com, which incidentally I highly recommend as a source of devotional material, and reading through Matthew, Luke, and John, it’s almost humorous to see the number of occasions that He stopped to shake His head and rebuke someone walking with Him.  “Don’t you get it?” He would say to one of the disciples, or a whole bunch of them as they stared back at Him with blank eyes.  It was a rhetorical question; they truly didn’t get it, and everyone knew it.  He also knew He didn’t have a lot of time with them; He knew they’d better get it sooner rather than later, or all the time with them would be for nothing.  There must have been quite a welling up of disappointment inside of Him, a feeling that perhaps He should quickly go shopping for some new disciples at FOLLOWERS R US.  He certainly must have been disappointed with the leadership of the Jewish religious society who REALLY didn’t get it.  At least His followers recognized something was sailing over their heads, but these guys were smug and complacent and thought HE was the one who was missing the message.

Disappointment.

Jesus must have tasted it almost every day of His ministry, up to and including the day He died on the cross.

What or who are YOU disappointed in today?  If you’re like me, sometimes disappointment can fester and stew until it physically hurts.  Does it help that Jesus had more to be disappointed in than any of us?  Does it make a difference that He overcame any disappointment with mankind and went to the cross anyway?  And that no matter what you or I do He still promises to remain close to us, disappointment notwithstanding?

It does for me.

So today, I’m going to try to take each disappointment as it rears its ugly little menacing head in my head and heart and give it to Jesus; let Him deal with it.  That’s what He said He would do.

Have a gracious rest of the week.

Regards, Rita

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