The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Psalm 34:15-20
It’s funny how God brings two complete opposites together. My wife is a morning person. She’s chipper as soon as her feet hit the floor. Not me. Most days I’m like a groggy grizzly bear who has just risen from a month long hibernation. The slightest noise will wake my wife up. Not me. I’ve slept through hurricanes, fire alarms, thunderstorms, barking dogs and crying babies. Side note to new fathers: never yawn, stretch and say, “What a blessing…our newborn didn’t even make a peep” to your bloodshot eyed wife. This never ends well.
If heavy sleeping were an Olympic sport, I would be a lock for a gold medal. Being a deep sleeper, I’ve devised many tricks to see the light of day at a reasonable time. My iPhone has 5 alarms set. The fallback plan is the radio setup on the opposite side of the room that blares the local rock radio station at full blast.
Those screeching sounds are the only way to shock my system into wake up mode. Without them, I’d still be sleeping and not in front of a keyboard. In some regards, encountering disappointment serves as a similar wake-up call.
When life is going well, we can sleepwalk through our days unaware of where we've placed our hope for security, contentment, and purpose. The pain that comes from disappointment and unmet expectations rouses us from our slumber. It awakens our eyes to see our brokenness and separation.
When we encounter disappointment, we question why a “good” God would let us endure our situation. We wonder if He listens to our cries, or if He even cares. God’s faithfulness, in our eyes, hinges on whether our circumstances change. This speaks volumes as to where we place our hope.
Colliding with adversity and trials force us to come face-to-face with our deepest spiritual needs. Our natural tendency will be to hit the snooze button, roll over and try to go back to sleep. But, the alarm ringing again is inevitable.
We’ve got to get out of bed and answer the call. But, more importantly, we have to realize there is a beauty and purpose behind the distress. God is not so much concerned with changing our circumstances. He is more focused on mending our heart.
No matter what we face, we can rest and live expectantly on God’s demonstrated love. God desires to redeem our disappointment. If we lean into the pain, He can use our situation to transform our heart and mind as well as bring us into a deeper intimacy with Him. Redemption doesn’t guarantee that every problem gets solved, but it does mean that every struggle has a purpose. Jesus changes everything and makes everything matter, including our struggles and trials.
The alarm is ringing, are you going to answer it?
How has God used moments of disappointment to shed light on your need for Him?
God, often I struggle to hear Your voice or sense Your presence. Yet, in those moments when I can no longer ignore the pain, I can feel You are with me. I can sense You shouting to me, reminding me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. May I trust that You have the power to redeem my disappointment and that the struggle I face can bring me closer to Your side. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.