Disappointment

Disappointment

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Psalm 22: 1-6 CEB

My God! My God,
why have you left me all alone?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my anguished groans?
My God, I cry out during the day,
but you don't answer;
even at nighttime I don't stop.
You are the holy one, enthroned.
You are Israel's praise.
Our ancestors trusted you;
they trusted you and you rescued them;
they cried out to you and they were saved;
they trusted you and they weren't ashamed.
But I'm just a worm, less than human;
insulted by one person, despised by another.

 

Reflection:

"Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us."
-- Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

"I Am Disappointed With God."

Dr. David Lose suggests that is difficult to give voice to our disappointments with God. Yet, he writes that "...naming our disappointments and doubts is integral to the life of faith and, indeed, part of the necessary process of being renewed in faith. " (See Disappointment With God at www.workingpreacher.org)

I was raised with the understanding that those in authority were not to be questioned. It was not my place to tell them that I was disappointed with them. My parents were teachers and well known in my school system. There was nothing I did in school that did not get back to my parents. After one "incident" in junior high school I was taken to the principal's office and paddled. When I got home my father paddled me again.

I could not imagine telling my principal or my father that I was disappointed with their behavior. They got to tell me that I was not meeting their expectations. If I had tried to tell them, I am sure my tongue would have fallen out.

Will I be able to keep my tongue if I tell God I am disappointed with him? Let me try.

"God, you have not met my expectations or hopes. Sometimes it seems you do not hear me. There are days when I am not sure you are even present with me. I am tired, weak and worn."

Pause. No lightning strike. No heavenly paddle. Can it be that God's love for me can bear even my disappointment?

Can it be that as I give voice to my despair that I will once again feel the gentle touch of God's love on my heart? My disappointments, failures, or frustrations are transformed into hope and trust. And if I am still and quiet, I will hear God's voice again call me beloved.

 

Prayer:

Loving God, I claim the promise of Isaiah that those who trust in you will find new strength. We will soar high on wings like eagles. We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not faint. Amen.

jackshackles.jpg
the Rev. Jack Shackles, Jr. Shackles, Jr.

pastor of Taftville Congregational Church, UCC

February 15, 2015
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