“I heard that tomorrow is supposed to be one of the best days of the year,” said Pastor Davis, one afternoon at work. My weekend started the next day, and after several stormy days, having beautiful weather on a day off sounded amazing! Since 2009, I’ve worked during the days, which means that I don’t get a whole lot of time outside during summer. Consequently, it’s a battle not to have a ghostly appearance.
When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t bother looking out the window before getting ready to go lay outside—I knew it was going to be one the best days of the year. As I stepped outside and onto the deck, a wave of disappointment swept over me. Not only was it cloudy, but it was chilly! Someone said that it may have been someone’s idea of a perfect day; it definitely was not mine. My idea of “one of the best days of the year” would be a day with the temperature in the lower 80’s, with a cool breeze, and a bright blue, cloudless sky. Mid-sixties and overcast was nowhere near my ideal!
Because I had the expectation of a perfect day, my disappointment was magnified. Disappointment is one of my least favorite feelings. I can’t think many things worse than expecting or hoping for something, only to have your expectation or hope dashed to pieces. It’s miserable—especially when what I’m hoping for or expecting is something more important than a nice day! Proverbs 13:12 is so true! It says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” In the midst of disappointment, I find myself wishing I had never hoped or that the expectation had never formed. Unfortunately, life is full of large and small disappointments, whether the day wasn’t as perfect as you had expected, you didn’t get the job you hoped for, or your life doesn’t look the way you pictured it would look. When we dare to hope, we also risk disappointment.
Disappointment teaches us a lesson in the placement of hope. Psalms 33:16-21 says, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. 21 In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.” So often, like the king who hopes to be saved by the size of his army, a warrior who expects to escape by his own strength, or those who hope in the strength of a horse for deliverance, we hope in vain. Thankfully, despite the unfulfilled expectations and the hopes turned to disappointments, we can be confident that God is constant. Because we know that His love is unfailing, we can hope. We can hope and trust in Him and know that we will not be disappointed. When our hope and trust is placed first and foremost in God who is constant, we won’t be shaken when our expectations are unfulfilled or things don’t go the way we hope.
Where are your hope and trust rooted? Are you shaken by disappointment? Or are you confidently trusting in God?