We all have faced disappointments, right? In fact, you can accurately say that disappointments are an unavoidable part of life. In fact, I once heard someone define leadership as this, "Leadership is disappointing people at a rate they can stand!" That is a humorous definition but one with a lot of truth! But how are we to respond when God is the one who disappoints us? We've all experienced that.
Before I started having dialogue with the Search Team here at the Gaylord E-Free Church I was being considered to be the Sr Pastor at a very large and very contemporary church in Southern Indiana. In fact, this church was so big that they had hired an outside organization to conduct their search for them. This organization did a nation-wide search and presented 6 semi-finalists to this church, of which I was one. The church then narrowed it down to two people of which I was still one.
I was sure that this was the right place for me. I was confident that this was God's will for me. I was ready to pack my bags and head to the Hoosier state. How deflated I was when I got the call letting me know that they had decided to pursue the other candidate. I had asked God for this over and over and was sure it was the right path, but in the end, God disappointed me.
So how should we view it when God disappoints us? First, we should see it as evidence that God loves us! Here is what I mean. When my kids were young there were times when they would ask permission to do something or to go somewhere. In their limited minds it was the perfect opportunity. To them, there was no reason why they should not be allowed. But as a parent, I knew things that they didn't know. I could see things that they couldn't see. I knew that this was not the best thing for them and I loved them enough to disappoint them even though I knew that they would not be able to understand and that they might possibly could get mad at me.
It is the same with God. I wanted to pastor that church in Indiana but God knew things and saw things that I could not know nor see. He knew it was not the best thing for me and He loved me enough to disappoint me even though He knew that I would not understand His decision and that I may even get angry at Him. When God disappoints us it is a gift. It is clear evidence of how much He loves us!
Second, we should see the times in our lives in which God disappoints us as golden opportunities to trust Him. I remember many times disappointing my kids when I did not give them what they asked for and hearing them cry out, "That's not fair!" I remember responding to them with the words, "You just need to trust me as your father!"
So it is with God. Each time He disappoints us it is a golden opportunity for us to trust Him as our Heavenly Father. God didn't give me that church in Indiana. He gave me something far better for me and my family. He gave me the blessing of being able to live in Gaylord, Michigan and see the amazing things He is doing here at the Gaylord E-Free Church! God saying "No" to Indiana was His way of saying to me, "You just need to trust Me as your Father!"
Disappointment is never fun but it is a gift! Through God disappointing us we get to see clear evidence of His love for us and we get the golden opportunity to trust our Heavenly Father!