Grateful for Disappointments

Sounds off, right?  I’ve been thinking about this … am I really thankful for disappointments in my life?!

Basically I believe without some disappointment we don’t really appreciate the joys … the contrast is significant. Andrae Crouch put it this way in his song, Through It All –

I thank God for the mountains
And I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through
For if I’d never had a problem
I wouldn’t know God could solve them
I’d never know what faith in God could do

~ Video Andrae Crouch’s testimony and song

All of us experience disappointments.  What is disappointing to you, may not phase me … and my disappointments might seem lame to you.  We can’t measure disappointment.  Instead, we consider our friends – their disappointments – with compassion; we rarely know the whole story.

For some, it’s a project, an adventure, the beginning of a story that ends in desolation:

An old man planted and dug and tended,
Toiling in joy from dew to dew;
The sun was kind, and the rain befriended;
Fine grew his orchard and fair to view.
Then he said: “I will quiet my thrifty fears,
For here is fruit for my failing years.”

But even then the storm–clouds gathered,
Swallowing up the azure sky;
The sweeping winds into white foam lathered
The placid breast of the bay, hard by;
Then the spirits that raged in the darkened air
Swept o’er his orchard and left it bare.

The old man stood in the rain, uncaring,
Viewing the place the storm had swept;
And then with a cry from his soul despairing,
He bowed him down to the earth and wept.
But a voice cried aloud from the driving rain;
“Arise, old man, and plant again!”

Dunbar, P. (1913). “Disappointed”. Lyrics of Lowly Life (Lit2Go Edition).

For others it is a sense that injustice is winning! That the wicked prosper; that wrong seems to win over right! Asaph, the Psalmist addresses this disappointment and demonstrates his own attitude adjustment –

… as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my feet almost slid out from under me.
For I envied those who are proud,
as I observed the prosperity of the wicked.
…They are immune to the trouble common to men;
they do not suffer as other men do.
Arrogance is their necklace,
and violence covers them like clothing.
They speak as if they rule in heaven,
and lay claim to the earth.
When I tried to make sense of this,
it was troubling to me.
But I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
Whom do I have in heaven but you?
On earth there is no one I desire but you.
God’s presence is all I need.

Portions of Psalm 73 (NET)

The Psalmist helps me to remember that while we do experience sorrows, disappointments, we will also experience joy, turning our mourning into dancing, and clothing us with gladness … so that we can sing His praise, to whom we give thanks forever!

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