Turning Disappointment into Hope

Day 16 of Lent, Psalm 22:

I am a realist, not a pessimist, for I see things for what “they really are.” (I am sure you have encountered this before.) People like me, take pride in our ability to live sensibly and in reality, even though we may be “the glass is half-empty” kind of people. Actually, I envy “the glass is half-full” type of people, for at least they are positive and hopeful– whether it is founded in reality or not.

There are always reasons to be disappointed, for there are countless disappointments in life and reasons to be dissatisfied. There are the life-altering occurrences, which leave us empty, lonely, and discouraged. People fail us. Family and friends fail us. Then, there are the everyday situations, which are inconvenient and frustrating. Our “stuff” wears out, does not work right, or becomes obsolete to the “next generation.” Styles change, weight gains, and prices go up.  Someone forgets a birthday, an anniversary or fails to show up altogether.  These things can make anyone a “half-empty” about life, kind of person.

Where have you been disappointed?

There are relationships that have disappointed me, not because the person was a disappointment, but because I was hoping for and expecting something more or something different– a lasting, deeper friendship. Somehow, it ended. This has made me disheartened at times and wonder quietly, “What is wrong with me?”  Possibly, you are familiar with this feeling as well. Disappointment often looks for someone or something to blame.

A few years back we had had some unexpected financial difficulty. It was something we had no control over, and it also had possible major ramifications. It made me question and doubt our future. I was very disappointed in the timing and the implications it could have on our lives. I wondered if things would ever be the same.  Living in disappointment causes fear. And then soon it becomes difficult to move forward.

There are also times as a mom, when my life has felt clouded and weighed down by the responsibilities and the unending cycle of things.  There is no closure on laundry, dishes, and sometimes, illness.  I remember one Spring Break we had an ongoing sickness that affected five out of the six of us, and then it decided that it was not done with us yet, so it went for another round. When I am tired and overwhelmed, my thoughts become foggy and any glimmer of hope begins to fade.  Continual disappointment consumes all hope.

Where is the hope?

Reading Psalm 22, is a great reminder– that God will not disappoint. It is easy to take the disappointment out on Him. Yet, He does have a plan.  He can be trusted, And, His future is wonderful for us. It says:

In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; in You they trusted and were not disappointed.

 Any point in time, I could find something to leave me half-empty. The car breaks down, the kids are sick again, I miss out, a relationship ends, a job is not offered… In any one moment, life can feel discouraging, and leave me questioning. Yet God reminds me:

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:3-5).

I must remember the story is not over yet.

For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed” (1Peter 2:6).

It is like reading the great book, Les Miserables, and stopping in the courtroom with the wrongly convicted criminal.  How disappointing the story would be. So much more must take place. God promises a glorious future. The glass may appear half-empty, but one day He will completely fill it. He will not disappoint.

God will not disappoint. Believing this gives great hope.