Disappointment

Disappointment Prayer

“If only I could see them again.”

Night and day he thought about that.

Obsessed about it.

Prayed and prayed and prayed for it – night and day and night and day.

“Please, God, let me see them again.”

God had other plans.

Again, he asked – night and day and night and day, he asked.

Please God, let me see them again.”

God had other plans.

I should point out that as well as anybody can know the motives of the heart, his intentions were honorable. He didn’t want any of their money. He wasn’t fishing for a stroke to his ego. He wasn’t needy or, best I can tell, all that lonely. But he was anxious, if not desperate, for more face time with these people.

Why?

Because on their last encounter, there were some missing pieces that were left hanging. And these people were in a vulnerable spot. They just needed more time together, and he knew if only he could get back there, his concerns could be resolved. It would be a win-win for everybody. Couldn’t the Lord see that?

Apparently not. He had… well, you know. [click to continue…]

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Sadness and happiness

Hop on the Hypothetical Bus with me for just a minute.  Let’s take a ride.

Let’s assume that as far as you know you’ve been doing everything you know to do correctly.

  • You brush and floss 2-3 times a day.
  • You have your daily devotions.
  • You exercise devotedly.
  • You give your money regularly to your church and other places.
  • You do a really good job at whatever you call work.
  • You only eat organic Cheetos.
  • You get your milk from a Christian cow.

Yet despite all the good things you’re doing and the faith and expectations you’ve been exercising, you just checked the scoreboard and,

Uh oh…

Your life is something like that mean football cheer:

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon rind!
Look at the scoreboard and see who’s behind…
You!

What do you do when the news should be good, but it’s discouraging instead? [click to continue…]

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Misty november morning at lake

Hey… you on the treadmill or the carousel.

Yes, you.    I have a question for you.

Remember the time you had an idea that would make a difference in your world?  Remember when you aspired to something better?  Something richer?  Something gloriously possible because you imagined it so?

Yeah, so… whatever happened to that idea?  Whatever happened to your dreams?

Remember when you were on a mission – when you had a sense of calling and clarity, and you even gave the G-word as your source?  Remember when you stepped out in confidence because God told you to?

Yeah, so… whatever happened to that calling?  Whatever happened to your dreams?

Remember when you were enflamed with passion or infused with hope because you could see it, taste it, enjoy it even before you experienced it?  Remember when you were so excited you could hardly sleep at night?

Yeah, so… whatever happened to that passion?  Whatever happened to your dreams?

Remember when you were determined to get something done – to solve a problem or meet a need or advance a cause?  Remember when you swore that you were done with idle living and wasted time?

Yeah, so… whatever happened to that determination?  Whatever happened to your dreams?

Remember when you were surrounded by can-do people who spoke into your life with encouragement and faith and offered to help you get where you were going? Remember when they convinced you that you had what it took to get it done?

Yeah, so… whatever happened to that connection? Whatever happened to your dreams? [click to continue…]

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DisappointmentJanie had an appointment with God.  And the Lord didn’t show up.  He’d always been pretty good at keeping the times Janie had set for Him – mostly in the little things like daily blessings and answered prayer.  But this was a big one, and the Lord didn’t keep His end of the bargain.

See, Janie just knew that God was going to give her a husband, and she knew who it would be. Chuck was obviously God’s choice for her… how else could she explain all the little coincidences, the magic feeling in her heart, and even those confirming verses she read in scripture.

Apparently, however, the Lord forgot to clue Chuck in on the plan, and the big guy had plans of his own.

Janie was devastated.  And more than that, she was bewildered. She had been so sure in her heart.  But somebody missed God, or God missed somebody.  And the result?  Janie’s appointment with God ended up as a dis-appointment.

Same thing happened to Chuck with regard to his career, though he wouldn’t call it that. To Chuck it was more of a calling. [click to continue…]

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(A Conversation…)

Disappointment GuiltYou can’t do that.

What?

You can’t disappoint God.

What do you mean I can’t disappoint God?

Just what I said.

Well I don’t think He’s too pleased!

I didn’t say you can’t displease Him.  That’s a different conversation.  I said you can’t disappoint Him.

Okay, why do you say that?

Because to be able to disappoint Him, you’d have to be able to surprise Him.  And whatever else He is, He is not surprised.

He knew this would happen?

Yep.

He let this happen?

He gave you a choice.  And you made it happen.  But none of it caught Him by surprise.

(Silence… wheels turning…) [click to continue…]

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Albuquerque. Sunday morning, 4:30 a.m. MST.

I think I had an encounter with a prophet.

Or maybe it was one of those times when the Lord Himself wanted to pay somebody a personal visit and get their attention.  He definitely got mine and for the briefest of moments it wasn’t pleasant. [click to continue…]

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Sheriene Harris was looking forward to her dad coming to stay with her.  Then the two of them were going to take her son to football camp in the summer.

They had plans.

Instead, her father, age 70, had a urinary tract infection and needed to go to the hospital.  There he had a massive heart attack and died.

“I felt that he had so much more life to live,” Sheriene said.  “God, what happened?”

It didn’t make sense.

“All I kept saying to God was, “WE HAD PLANS!”

Apparently God had other plans.

What do you do when your plans collide with God’s?  Especially when your plans are noble, life-affirming, loving, or even kingdom-building? [click to continue…]

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Promise.  It’s one of the most charming words in the English language.

Do you realize that so much of what we experience, of what we know about God, of our spiritual maturity, and of our success or failure in the Christian life has something to do with how we respond to the promises of God?  Peter says, “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

But what do you do when you are standing on the promises and it doesn’t turn out like you expected?

What do you do when you wait on the Lord, and all you get in return is more waiting?

What do you do when you know – you know you’ve heard from the Lord about a specific situation, and it just doesn’t happen?

In short, what do you do when you’re disappointed with God? [click to continue…]

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Call him Benjamin. 

Nice Hebrew name for this fictional, but oh-so-real young man who lived outside of Jerusalem in the first century.  Benjamin is 20 years old, and his family raised him in a typical Jewish home.

Until that day. [click to continue…]

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An important part of creating a compelling future has to do with remembering.  That’s why lately I’ve been visiting some museums on a fairly regular basis. 

I’m not referring to anything with the words, “Smithsonian,” “Historical,” or “National” in it.  The museums I’m talking about are in my head, some really old computer files, and my journals.

Lately I’ve been visiting the Dream Museum.  I suggest you do the same.

The idea for this little excursion was planted in my heart last August at a men’s retreat, where my friend Mickey asked a compelling question:

What dreams have you had either stolen or detained, to the point you have given up on them?  Maybe the Lord is telling you to pick that dream back up again.

That really registered with me.  “Electrified” may be a better term.

(Pause.  Are you entering your dream museum yet?  Visiting what’s in mine may help me, but it won’t do much for you.  So let me ask you what Mickey asked all of us:  What dreams have YOU had that were either stolen or detained, to the point you have given up on them?)

I didn’t have an immediate answer to the question, other than some unfulfilled physical dreams that I believe were prophetic.  But I couldn’t get over the gut feeling that some long-ago dream had been shelved to the point that I had forgotten about it, but the Lord hadn’t.   [click to continue…]

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