Journeying through the land of Disappointment…

Disappointed with God?   This is the title of a book that we were given to read after Sean died.   Philip Yancey wrote this book.  It seems like a sign of arrogance to be “disappointed” with God.  I mean God is God–who are we as finite humans with limited understanding to be disappointed–or angry with Him?

Yet, I must admit–I have come through a time of being disappointed, and angry with God.  I didn’t want to be disappointed.  I didn’t want to be angry.  But I was.   Why?   So many reasons, but the main reason–the reason behind all the other reasons–is because I was struggling to trust God.   He had disappointed me.  He had not met my expectations.  My feelings were hurt.

Did He care?  Did He still love?  Did He still have power?  Why hadn’t He acted yet?  I have been waiting so long?  At least  for a human who has a 70-90 year life span it feels like forever however–not such a long time for God–who is an Eternal Being.

I am reminded of my children when they are waiting for something they desire—I know that they will receive it soon–in a matter of hours or days or months–depending on what they are waiting for–whether it be a treat or an outing or a long desired present—but they do not know they will receive it.  They must trust in my word and if I have not given my word–they must trust in my character and in my love for them–that I desire the best for them and of them.  Many times the waiting process does them in–and the temper tantrums set in.   

I have been struggling with my own waiting process, and while I haven’t been having temper tantrums–(Ok–maybe I have. 🙂  )I have been honest with God.   I have told Him of my feelings of anger.  I have told HIm of my feelings of disappointment.  (Let’s be honest–He knows I am feeling these feelings anyway.)

Yet, I have also admitted that I didn’t want these feelings–I wanted to trust Him.  I wanted to love Him, I wanted to believe the best of Him.

What does that mean to believe the best of God?  It means believing that He does what He does—with all wisdom, all knowledge, all love, all power.  

It also means accepting that there is evil in this world.  Evil is the opposite of God, but not equal in power to God–not even close.

However, evil does intend to steal, kill and destroy—our faith and hope and love–in God and in each other.

I’d say evil has been doing a bang up job of doing that.  

So what do I do when I am disappointed with God?

I admit it.  I am honest about my feelings.  Yet–I am also honest about my wants.  I want to believe and trust in God, and I ask Him for the faith to believe Him, to trust Him.  I am like the man who cried to Jesus, “Help me with my unbelief!”  

Yesterday, I was struggling, praying that prayer–for help, for faith!.  Today, I woke up, and I found myself—believing in the goodness of God and the infiniteness of His Love.  Today, I am experiencing God’s presence, and my soul is rejoicing.

How long will this last?  I don’t know—I’m sure something else will happen that will cause me to doubt God’s goodness and God’s love.  I will have another choice to make about being honest with God about my feelings, and asking for His help.

Scripture is full of conversations between human beings and God–where they were honest about their feelings–and they dialogued with God. Abraham had those conversations, as did many of the prophets–Elijah, and Jonah to name a few. What strikes me about those conversations, is that God listened, and God was tender with them.

I hope my honesty about my struggles will help you—-If you are struggling, and in the land of disappointment.  I hope your journey in that land will be short, but you will learn what I have learned from my own journey—that even though I did not, “feel” God, He was with me during every step of the journey.  And even though evil is trying to kill, steal and destroy us, “If God is for us, who is against us?”  Romans 8:31b    In other words–it doesn’t matter if evil is against us–because the overwhelmingly loving and powerful God is for us–and He will never leave us or forsake us, and nothing will separate us from His love, not even death.

May we be encouraged!!