What has been your greatest disappointment?
I must admit... this caused me to pause for a moment. I wanted to be careful and thoughtful with my answer. I have/had several disappointments currently and throughout my life that suddenly came to mind, but I did not vocalize any of them initially to the inquirer as we stood there together in the foyer. Life certainly has its share of disappointments for everyone. After a few moments, I expressed that I was curious as to why he asked me this question, and whether it was related to ministry or something else. His response was that, in essence, this would become the very thing he would think about when he prayed for me in future days.
With that, it was without hesitation that I expressed my sadness and disappointment that my three sons, all of them, are currently not serving Christ as I'd hoped they would. I also, with deep appreciation, thanked him for these prayers that I know will be lifted to our LORD on behalf of myself, as well as my sons. Hearing this question posed to me also reminded me of another conversation that had happened just before the year came to an end.
A friend I had not seen in some time bumped into me a few days before Christmas. It was a joyous conversation, full of hope and life. We shared about several victories of faith and faithfulness in our respective lives we had each experienced in 2017. In the course of our conversation, he was reminding me that his sons were not serving Christ either.... not yet! As it turns out, our sons had grown up together, went to school together, played sports together. They had all grown up in homes where Jesus was, and is, esteemed and served. God is so gracious, as this dear friend reminded me, not to hastily put a "period" on the end of the sentence that represents our lives. Rather, he puts a "comma", signifying the fact that there remains a hope of genuine surrender, forgiveness, restoration, and new life. Our sons still have a future "after the comma", as it were. The fact is; we all do!
I expect that God has disappointment too.... plenty of it. I often wonder what His greatest disappointment is? In me personally. In humankind. Nonetheless, I marvel at the reality that God doesn't keep reminding me of his disappointment(s) in me, but rather, he constantly reminds me of his love and faithfulness to me, and to us all.
If you find yourself reading this post and have had your own share of disappointments, including the kinds I mention here, know that our God is STILL in the premier business of restoration. He is not finished with any one of us. As long as we have breath, and the Holy Spirit still hovers over the face of the earth and has opportunity to speak into our lives, there is hope of overcoming every major disappointment. What the scripture in Romans 5:5 declares is true: "Hope does not disappoint (put us to shame), because God's love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Dear Father; Thank you for your enduring love and faithfulness. Please wait to put the period at the end of the sentences that represent the lives of our children, and others as well, until such time that their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Amen.