These really are some disappointing times we’re living in. Things here in Dallas are not going well in regard to COVID. We are seeing case numbers and hospitalizations on the rise. Record breaking numbers. The highest we’ve seen yet. Many people are still out of work with so much fear of the future. Things that were initially open are being shut back down. Things as a family we deeply looked forward to like trips, cancelled, and aspects of summer we anticipate for months like waterparks and splash pads never even open.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” I can’t think of a better way to describe the state of our current situation––hope deferred. Everything feels deferred. Everything is put off until another time. And my heart truly feels sick over so much loss.
Today I’m just feeling it––disappointment. It is now almost July…we have been isolated since March. We have been forced out of our sense of normal for almost four months with no sign of change any time soon. That is flat out disappointing. I’m certainly not here to point fingers as to why because that’s simply not helpful. But rather to help us feel and engage in our disappointment rather than cope ourselves into oblivion, completely numb out, or live in total denial.
Did you know God is only in pursuit of our total honesty?
In a world where we only put our best foot forward, God is asking for what’s really going on inside of you. God is not interested in a false self we portray, but rather the genuine grief, disappointment, questions, and longings we feel.
Brennan Manning refers to this “false self” as the “imposter.” In his book, Abba’s Child, he says, “The false self is frustrated because he never hears God’s voice. He cannot, since God sees no one there” (page 25).
Have you been bringing your false self or truest self to God in these days? Are you avoidant of prayer in your disappointment? Have you been avoiding quiet and times of stillness with the Father? Have you been avoiding feeling and running to things like social media, television, addictive foods to cope?
Craig and I really care about the mental health of our readers. And this time of self-isolation for the sake of quarantining ourselves is truly a perfect storm for spiraling into toxic habits. The main takeaway I want to give you all today is simply to take your disappointments (and whatever else you may be feeling) to the Father. Climb up in his lap. Bury your face in his chest, and cry out. Feel. Do not numb out. Do not throw yourself into works to keep yourself from feeling. Do not put on a false self. God is good with us in our tantrums. He is a perfect father who knows exactly how to care for you, his child.
God wants to lift your hanging head. He wants to strengthen your bones and fill your spirit with hope for right now and tomorrow. But you will miss it if you turn to other things and avoid your pain. God is still in control. He is still good. And he has things he wants to speak specifically to you for this moment in time.
What will you do with your disappointment today?
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” –Psalm 121