I’ve had a week that has felt overwhelmingly dark. Bleak. Heavy.
The weather’s been cloudy. That hasn’t been the reason.
I’ve had a few of those yucky days where it feels like my clothes don’t fit well, my face doesn’t fit well. I won’t even mention my hair. But that hasn’t been the reason.
A shared burden should make the load lighter, right? Maybe that’s part of my problem. That I can’t really do anything to help.
Just listen. Be present with them. Pray.
It doesn’t feel like enough. I’m a doer by nature. A fixer. I could’ve been one of those wild west medicine women. “Bring me your problems, your pains. I’ve got an elixir that’ll fix you right up!” I wish I had one now. Something these folks could do. Could take. Something that would relieve the pain and the disappointment.
That doesn’t work. Disappointment and pain are things that need to be faced honestly. Not masked or denied or excused.
I’m a master at all three of those art forms.
Folks see me as fairly upbeat. I’ve learned humor works as a wonderful defense mechanism. And laughter eases a lot of tension. There are times when I default to humor and laughter to avoid the reality of the pain. The heaviness of the disappointment.
They always return though, like stains in your carpet. Hidden for the moment, but never really gone.
Disappointment is a way of life. We will all find ourselves dealing with it at some time. Many times. It’s part of living in an imperfect world. Life comes up with a reality we don’t want. In a way we refuse to see it. Or we fight it, hoping our efforts will overcome what we can’t understand.
But I’ve learned something about disappointment. It’s a dark room I enter, often when I don’t get my way. And I refuse to see the window that just needs to be opened to let in the light.
What truly disappoints me? When things don’t turn out the way I want them to. When I can’t control what’s happening to me or to people I love.
Jesus confronted disappointment daily. People didn’t think He was what they wanted Him to be. He didn’t act like their picture of God.
But when they needed Him, He was there.
He helped a man once whose son had an evil spirit in him, one that threw the boy into fire or water to kill him, that caused convulsions. The father, not knowing what to believe, asked if Jesus could fix him .
“‘If You can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.'” Mark 9:23-24
I struggle most with disappointment when I forget the truth about who Jesus is and what He has said. That our reality is, in this life, will always be trials and sorrows. But Jesus has already overcome the temporary pain with eternal hope. Living in that truth is the challenge. It’s anticipating how He will finish the work He has already begun in me. The window of hope.
Life won’t ever look pretty here. And it won’t be done my way or on my terms. But I can have hope that it will get better.
If I just open that window.
Second photo courtesy of wikihow.com.