When life hands you a lemon, you look desperately for sugar so it’s not a complete loss.
When our family vacation was canceled due to Covid, our Colorado family got creative, primed for together time. They, too, had weathered the virus the week before the rest of us did, so having already experienced isolation, they were disappointed to miss family time.
Plus, during their quarantine, my daughter had a birthday. All the celebratory plans were trashed. Disappointment layered on disappointment.
Not one to be kept down–Courtney’s attitude is upbeat even in the worst of times–they decided to tie-dye shirts as a family. A new activity that elevated three-year-old Beck’s excitement to new heights.
He loves tie-dyed shirts.
He did his best, by himself, and was quite pleased with the outcome. It might not have looked professional, but if someone is looking for professionally crafted shirts, they’ll buy them.
The joy is in the experience. The fun is in trying something new and different, a snub in the face of disappointment.
Disappointment surrounds us. Gas prices and apartment rentals continue to increase. Air travel is chancy at best. Cities are in crisis with increasing crime. Health is a constant risk.
Disappointment disrupts our plans.
Disruption can lead to fear and failure.
This is life. We can’t avoid any of these emotions. They’re the inevitable condiments of a broken world.
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, is a picture of personal disappointment and failure. When Jesus asked His men who others said He was, they came up with all kinds of answers–John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah the prophet. But when Jesus asked them what they thought, Peter replied immediately.
“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Matthew 16:16
It was a highlight for Peter, who loved Jesus dearly. But at the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times, a thought that appalled the disciple.
“Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with You, and even to die with You.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” Luke 22:33-34
After Jesus’ arrest, Peter was in the courtyard where He was being held, watching, waiting. When people claimed he was one of Jesus’ disciples, he denied it three times.
His disappointment was bitter.
Disappointment will happen. We will fail in the things we attempt, not because we’re wrong but because life is broken and messy.
But redemption happens. Hope is real. Failure isn’t fatal–it’s a push to move us to think outside the box, Peter became one of the main spokespersons for Jesus after His crucifixion and resurrection. He experienced God’s forgiveness and was restored to an even greater ministry after facing his challenge.
God’s redemption is His gift to us because life is out of control. It’s living instead of slowly dying–or eternally dying–at the hands of our losses and disappointments.
We can mess up a tie-dyed shirt, but we need to be more aware of living with the hope Jesus offers us.
To live in hope is our great adventure.