When Disappointment Seems to be Winning…

{For several friends who know their share of this and who deal with it far more gracefully than I. Your ongoing witness to His goodness, faithful ones, has bolstered me today.Thank you!}

It came sneaking up on me. Again. You’d think I’d have learned by now. Disappointment plays dirty. Not a one of us escapes it.

I told myself I wouldn’t get my hopes up (And who hasn’t engaged in this futility?). And where else does hope go but up until the moment when it might come crashing down? And up they went. Those hopes. My hopes. And the more determined I was to not hope, hope rose all the more. Until the dough was punched down.

The tears that come with it lay bare where the eyes of a heart were focused– the gaze set, a hope rising. More than anything, disappointment is a truth-teller, a gut-check. Stinging salt says, “This is what you really hoped for”.  And it’s anything but gentile. Disappointment  never makes amends. It pads in, claws all agleam, and it pounces–rips a hoping heart wide open, leaves gashes where the bits and pieces of a dream spill out. And the stench of the ache lingers. Quick in the attack, it leaves the heart to mend and the mending is so very slow.

 

IMG_5279Shaking my head as tears fall in my lap I sit and rock, hands clenched. Balled up. Clinging tightly to what I think I want. What will not be. What isn’t in the plan. I’m angry about the plans I can’t see.  (I don’t want to be humbled and broken right now! I would rather throw a rock than hide in the cleft of the rock. I don’t want to learn the lessons. I want what I want.)

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

And in the quiet and the light that breaks between the rain storms that have marked the late-June day, the question that rattles my core whispers in my soul. Would you rather be coddled or cared for? Caring is noble. Caring is a hallmark of commitment. Caring sees beyond the hurts of now and into the forever of a glorious when that will surely come.  It’s hard to uncurl my fingers and open my hands in submission. But I can’t cast with knotted hands. Because if I’m learning anything at all, the posture of the cross means my hands must be open. Who submits with a tight grip? Who receives a gift with closed hands? Who serves with fingers wrapped and palms hidden? 

In my ugly sin I’m immeasurably more willing to let my gaze fall on the disappointing details than let it rise to rest on the far-surpassing blessings that bring bowed and hallowed adoration. This is the place my heart doesn’t want to go. The hard eucharisteo always comes. Today it came when the Hoped In who holds my heart reminds me that what he gave on a cross trumps my earthly hoped fors. Every time.

And this doesn’t make what was hoped for mean less. Doesn’t make it insignificant. Doesn’t cheapen it. (Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.) It’s alright to have hopes, knowing full-well that only Hope in Him saves and the fulfillment of temporal hope is His to give. Or not.

The silence swells until my pride ruptures and my heart slowly forms the words.

Thank you.

For what you’re doing and I can’t see, thank you.

For caring and not coddling, thank you.

For having a plan better than mine, thank you.

For grace unending, thank you. 

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