Navigating Disappointment

Written by: Steve Crowder

From his youth, Steve knew he was called into the ministry which ultimately led him to Applied Life Christian College in Arkansas. Now as Lead Pastor of Highway, after two decades of ministry experience, marriage and raising three kids, Steve teaches with unique insight and practical application.

February 17, 2021

Proverbs 13:12 MSG “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.”

Have you ever stopped to consider how you personally handle disappointment when it shows up in your life?  After a year like 2020, we should be professionals at navigating it. Right?  I saw a meme on social media in December that made me laugh, that said, “Wait until 2020 turns 21 and starts drinking!”  Translated…just wait because undoubtedly there is more disappointment ahead.  

Oftentimes we have solid friends and family surround us in support when the big “stuff” hits us, but what about the little things that seem unrelenting and ultimately compile into a weight that seems unbearable…maybe even unbelievable.  “Can one more thing go wrong?” Or maybe it’s phrased more like, “Can anything go right for a change?”  This past Sunday morning started like that for me.  After logging some time in the front of my house shoveling snow from the night before, I needed to quickly throw on my sweater and head over to the church.  As a pastor, it’s always a good thing when we show up on time for some reason, but this morning seemed to be against me!  I was able to get my arms in the sleeves but only made the body of the sweater down to my belly before I realized that it had shrunk!  Come on, for reals?!?  What was once a comfortable XL was now fitting like a girl’s small!

So after I peeled it back off, grabbed a puffy vest as a replacement and was on my way, I started to notice the lights on the dash of my Explorer acting very strange.  About ten minutes later, the display was completely black as I pulled into the parking lot, which is never a good sign.  I made the mistake of turning it off to use my key to check the church mailbox and then found myself having to push the truck out of the entrance so as to not block any incoming traffic.  I’m so grateful for the church members who graciously stopped to help, and by that afternoon all was working with a newly installed battery and alternator.  
These things weren’t major!  No one died, and at the most, it was simply an inconvenience in the midst of my day. But isn’t that how it tends to come?  You plan for something to be a certain way and yet, you find yourself disappointed one more time!  So what do you do with that frustration?  Does it drive you to outbursts of anger?  Tears running down your cheeks?  Do you find yourself craving that same bottle that you know can medicate away the pain?

I’ve come to realize the very best thing you can do when navigating disappointment is to tell someone. 

An ear you can trust who will not use your honesty against you at a later date.  God is always there, but He often uses a warm body of someone close to us for the embrace we often need.  So I say, find both and be honest as you walk out the emotion.  Nothing stays hidden when it’s brought into the light.  The feelings are real, but they might not always be right. Your perception of the truth may be skewed because it’s lense is a subjective filter.  

Be reminded today of what God tells us in Hebrews 13:5 in the Passion translation, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!”  He is there for the journey.  He is there for the long haul.  No matter what comes your way in life that can leave you disappointed, it will never be Him.

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