Have you ever been disappointed? Think of that time when you really wanted something and you didn’t get it.
Being disappointed doesn’t make us feel very good. We feel somehow cheated out of something we thing we deserve.
Yesterday Karen and I had planned to invite some friends and their children over to play in the fountains at Bicentennial Park and then have a cook-out afterwards. Because of the schedules of the kids and our church activities, it took us two months to find a time that everyone could come. The plans were laid, the food was bought and everyone was ready. But the weather was not cooperating; if you remember, last weekend was sunny and in the eighties. Yesterday dawned cloudy, rainy and only 56 degrees! No one, not even kids want to run through the fountains with their teeth chattering! It looked like the long planning was going to be a bust.
I was really disappointed (partially because one of the fathers had been a member of the design team who created the Scioto Mile and he had never seen it since the work is almost done). And I was sure that the kids would not want to run through the fountains. But I did have an alternative plan.
Instead of playing in the fountains, we moved inside to our pool and the kids got to jump in the water and play with pool toys and swim. Turns out that they enjoyed that much more than if we had been outside. When they got cold, they warmed themselves up in the hot tub. You have never heard such squealing and giggling. We had our picnic and everyone had a grand old time.
Now, the initial disappointment that the weather would not cooperate is not very important in the scope of the world. But to us and the kids, it would have been. It doesn’t take a world calamity to cause disappointment.
Everyone is disappointed sooner or later: friends break their word, marriages end in divorce, our children move away and never call us, colleagues betray us, the company lays us off, doctors can’t cure us, our investments disappear, our dreams are shattered, the best-laid plans go astray, and very often,
- we disappoint ourselves.
Let’s look for a minute at a major character in the Bible: Joseph. Talk about someone who had a series of disappointments. He was the favored of all the sons of Jacob and his father showered him with presents and knew he was destined to be great. But, his brothers did not feel that way about their youngest brother.
- His brothers were so jealous of him and his beautiful coat that they threw him into a well
- Then they sold him into slavery to the Egyptians.
- He had to work as a slave making bricks for the Pharaoh.
- He saw a fellow Hebrew being beaten unjustly by the overseer and stopped the beating.
- He had to go into hiding because he killed the overseer.
But despite all those disappointments, Joseph kept his faith in God; he believed in his heart that God had something he wanted him to do and he would just keep believing, no matter how bad the world seemed at that moment. And he was right!
And we need to keep believing. . . when things don’t go our way, there is ALWAYS a reason for it. Sometimes we can’t see it at the moment, somethings we realize after something we were supposed to do happens, and sometimes we never know. But, remember this, things happen because they are meant to happen.
And often, we don’t really know what the right choice is; but God does. God has the knowledge to make wise choices; his choices are in our best interest.
Remember what Jesus said before his trial and execution
“not my will, but Thy will be done” (Luke 22:42)
God has a plan for us, and we must trust and have faith that He knows what is best for us.
Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 13 September 2015