Dealing with Disappointment
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
Postponed. Cancelled. We encounter those words everywhere these days. With each cancelled event comes fresh salt into already painful wounds. My daughter’s senior prom…cancelled. My son’s college graduation…postponed. Every household and family is wrestling with the frustration of missed birthday parties, vacation refunds, and lost little league seasons. We knew social distancing would be frustrating. We expected to deal with anxiety about possible contamination. What we didn’t realize is how much disappointment we would face.
Proverbs 13:12 tells us that when hope is put off, we get heart sick. To be heart sick is to be dispirited and cast down. We all know the experience of having our anticipation stirred; hope often feels like a surge of electricity through our bodies. On the contrary, the loss of hope is like a power outage. The heart goes dark. Our stomachs grow acidic and sour. This is how disappointment feels.
One of the surest ways of dealing with disappointment is by moving our focus from what is tentative and unreliable to what is certain. We anchor our hope to what can never be postponed. During these ambiguous days, I have found it re-assuring to remember and to meditate on the promises God found throughout His word. We know that God’s promises are faithful because God is faithful. Listen to the Apostle Paul’s words in his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church…
“20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
Paul says God is the one who enables us to stand firm in shaky seasons. How?
1) By anchoring our lives to a truth which can never be lost: We are His. God has put His Spirit within us as the seal of His ownership.
2) We anchor our lives to a future which God has guaranteed. And though we may not understand all there is to know about God’s glorious eternity, we know this…it will not be cancelled or postponed.
… a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Stay hopeful City Church.