Have you ever been so disappointed you felt like your heart was sinking into a pit of despair and all hope was lost? I think everyone has at one time or another. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Although disappointments come for different reasons, the most oft expressed seems to involve relationships and trying to find love. Carolyn McCully, a Christian author said, “Much of our disappointment in relationships is not because people have actually wronged us, but because they have failed to meet our expectations.” While I think her statement is true to a large degree because disappointments come from unmet expectations, I also think that as we have moved away from following Jesus and even sought to remove the Ten Commandments, we actually tend to wrong each other more. We should be able to expect common courtesies, but fewer and fewer have been taught good manners, and our world has become more of a selfish, dog-eat-dog world instead of one that practices the Golden Rule. Instead of being taught to truly love and serve others, we are encouraged to love and serve ourselves. The problem is we already love ourselves as expressed through various forms of self-preservation. We just wish someone else would love and not reject us, too.
“He who plants thorns must never expect to gather roses.” –Arabian proverb
People say, “I just won’t expect anything, and then I’ll never be disappointed,” and yet, they often find themselves disappointed time and time again. The key isn’t in never expecting anything at all. That’s impossible. The key can be found in a Panamanian proverb, “If you want no disappointments, don’t indulge in illusions.” Find out what is true and reasonable, be prepared to accept or adjust for temporary delays or set backs, and be willing to practice patience and grace. “Flexible people don’t get bent out of shape.” And when a desire is finally fulfilled or an expectation met, it is especially uplifting and appreciated when there has first been a delay. Sometimes you might even be glad you didn’t get what you’d originally hoped for.
Some people might feel like God is disappointed with them and sees them as a hopeless case. So not true! God, who is omniscient, is never disillusioned, so He cannot be disappointed. His Father-heart may be breaking at witnessing the hurt and pain we and others feel as a result of wrong doing, but He is not disappointed, and He never sees us as a hopeless case. He is always working to draw us closer and not to push us away like people sometimes do.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” –Psalm 103:8-14
Although we don’t fully know Him and sometimes have misguided expectations because of things we’ve heard or been taught about Him, He knows us. He knows you. Even the ugly parts. And He loves you anyway. There is hope. If you’ve ever fallen in love and felt wonderfully alive, then you might be able to imagine what it feels like to realize just how much Jesus loves you. He will not push you away.
July 10th, 2013 at 1:12 am
So true, that disappointment relates to our expectations–and the likelihood that they’re quite unrealistic. It would be so helpful if people could communicate honestly; as sometimes expectations are innocently–and trustingly–built on the words of another, who has given false hope–perhaps because they want to please us. I have to say, it drives me a bit crazy that good manners and consideration for others have largely fallen out of fashion. Oh well. God bless you BIG–sis Caddo
July 10th, 2013 at 6:01 am
Yes, I agree that “sometimes expectations are innocently-and-trustingly-built on the words of another, who has given false hope,” like you said, possibly in an effort to please, or perhaps in an effort to appear better in order to impress. I have probably done so myself at one time or another. Thank you, Caddo, for adding your thought-provoking words. Blessings to you, too!
July 10th, 2013 at 6:52 am
Disappointments do inevitably come, but how we deal with them shows our true character, and where our trust really lies. Unrealistic expectations and false hopes of love are usually brought on by a skewed view perpetrated by the world and the media of today. Even our view of church can be skewed like looking at a carnival house of mirrors; our image is in the mirror but it is altered or distorted. Some are entertaining and some are ugly, but none show the true self, they are all illusions, as many people are. We live in a fast on demand world where taking time to realize your dreams or find out about love and someone’s heart is not encouraged and then complain because we didn’t know they were like that. We are taught to live like there is no tomorrow, and while we are not promised another day, God wants us to slow down, live life and seek love in not just others, but in everything. Take off the rose colored glasses the world has handed out and see things for what they are His gift to us.
July 12th, 2013 at 8:12 am
Wow! Yes! Well said, Randell. Thank you! 🙂
July 10th, 2013 at 9:00 am
I all desire is in You, Lord….He never disappoints! Lovely post, Rene.
July 11th, 2013 at 6:13 am
Thank you, Sue! 🙂
July 15th, 2013 at 5:37 pm
I have lately read alot about disappointment and I do try not to expext something, as you say then I can’t be disappointed. Living in the now and enjoying the moment , it works nicely.
July 15th, 2013 at 5:56 pm
Yes, living in the moment can certainly help. Thank you, Ute!
July 17th, 2013 at 11:37 pm
I really love this, my friend. God has given me a keen eye (heart) to hear the disappointment in many as I’ve lived it before. Sometimes I still do – when people tend to live unconcerned for those around them. I am a stickler for people to be treated fairly. I just have to remember that something(s) bring these people to living downtrodden. Too many disappointments themselves perhaps.
You guide them back to the Truth that He always longs to be closer to us.
Keep it up. Those with a keen ear (heart) will hear.
July 18th, 2013 at 7:56 am
Although my life has been no where near as bad as some, I have experienced many a disappointment, too, and have tried to learn from them. Yes, I think people are often downtrodden because of the many disappointments they themselves have faced, and they are left feeling somewhat hopeless. I’ve been there, but the Lord has been so gracious and faithful. He is the Lifter of my head. Thank you, Heather! 🙂
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