Friday, November 7, 2008

Overcoming Disappointment

I watched with great excitement. My little man was doing a great job at his football game, but regardless of how good the team was doing, he looks so absolutely adorable in his little football uniform!

Saturday was the last day of the season, the last bowl game. It was a big game for all the nine year old boys on the team, and they were pumped! They played a great game, but in the 3rd quarter, the opponent got a touchdown. As hard as we tried, we couldnt get the ball over the line, until just before the game was over, and then "bam!", we got a touchdown. Ive never seen such small boys jump so high!

The game went into overtime, and each team was given 4 plays, and the one with the highest score after their four plays, wins the game. On the 3rd play we got a touchdown - whoo hoo! But unfortunately we missed the extra point. Then it was their turn - on their 3rd play they got a touchdown, and in the last few seconds, they got a 2 point conversion. Game over. From jubilation and excitement, to disappointment to discourage in a matter of seconds.

Sadness filled all of our hearts. Great disappointment instantly set it. As the other team rejoiced, jumped across the field and held up their trophies with excitement, our boys meandered off the field, with slumped shoulders and devastation on their faces. I was so glad I had my sunglasses on, which hid the tears that were welling up in my eyes.

As my sweet little boy in his hunky-looking uniform walked by with his team mates, he hung his head low and tried to choke back the tears. His cherub face washed in sadness.

It was just one ballgame, but my heart broke for him. I wished so badly that I could take away his disappointment. I wished so much that they could go back in time and play that play again, blocking better, having stronger defense, and winning the game. But the game was over, and disappointment attacked.

I remembered this today as I thought about all the things taking place in our country and the elections of all of our new officials. One team is elated at the final score of the game, the other team is facing great disappointment.

Despite knowing that God rules and controls all things, our hearts can still get bogged down with disappointment, as we desperately wish the outcome were different. We feel weighted down as we walk in the shadows of discouragement.

If we are not careful, that disappointment can sometimes overshadow our faith. We wonder why God didnt do things differently, why He let things happen that we didnt want to happen, or why He didnt make things better for us. Disappointment can plant little seeds of doubt in our minds, that seem harmless and maybe even unnoticeable at first, but if left to grow, can flourish into full blown doubt, leaving us feeling defeated and defenseless.

We could consider disappointment like a test, allowed by God to see if our trust in Him will waiver, or will it remain strong. Will we still believe in His goodness when things arent all that good?

If our joy depends on our circumstances, we will always be disappointed. People let us down. Government lets us down. Spouses let us down. Children let us down. Friends let us down. Family lets us down. Football game strategies let us down. The only One that does not let us down, is Jesus.

So how do we deal with disappointment? How do we deal with major setbacks, losses, and discouragements in all areas of our life? How do we keep from planting those seeds in our hearts that could eventually grow vines that choke out our faith?

I think we should simply look at the good, and let go of the bad.

Attitude is a powerful thing. If we choose to find something positive, it can overshadow the negative. We can lie in a pool of discouragement over all the things that have gone wrong in our life, or we can pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and trust God to make a masterpiece out of a seemingly useless pile of clay. If we focus on thanking God for all the good things in our life, that list of blessings will most likely overshadow the disappointments.

Saturday night, as I hugged my sweet little boy goodnight and comforted him with my embrace, he asked me to tell him a bedtime story. I told him about a little boy who was so disappointed about losing his football game. As I said that, his smile turned into a scorn. I then began to tell him about how that same boy had played a great game. How he had made important contributions. How he had tried his best.

I spoke of how that little boy practiced really hard over the next few months, and started a new football season the next year with a great attitude. I told him how that disappointed little boy became the greatest player on the team, and at the end of the season, his team won the big tournament game and then went to an awesome pizza party to celebrate afterwards. His sweet little smile returned, and he closed his eyes and rolled over to go to sleep. After all, he is just a little man, learning to live in a big mans world.

Are you dealing with disappointment today? Tell yourself a bedtime story. Fill it with dreams of how you want things to be, miracles that God can perform, and happiness that is within your reach if you believe in Gods sovereignty. Describe all the wonderful things that you would like to see happen, and count the blessings you have today that will help you achieve those dreams.

Nothing is too big for God. Today try to let go of the bad, and grab onto the good. Reach for God, and you too can be an overcomer, with the right attitude.

Ephesians 2:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

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Joyful said...

It most often requires great strength to offer a sacrifice of find the good overshadowed by the not so good. It's like how His Word promises to give us treasures in darkness - when things aren't going as we expected and the way seems longs and hard, disappointment deadens our heart...but it doesn't have to remain that way. I'm so thankful for HOPE. The hope found in second chances. The hope found in the gift of the next game, the next month, the next week, the next moment. As Twila Paris sings, "When you hold on to Jesus, you're holding on to hope."

Thanks for reminding me today to trust and believe my Big God with all the concerns on my heart.
Love & prayers,

Haroldly said...