Disappointed? It’s your fault of course

sad_manI’ve been mulling over this article You Can’t Turn Lemons into Lemonade, especially as I wrestle with some deep, abiding and lengthy disappointment. I appreciated the honesty in which the author acknowledges that we do experience disappointment in this life. Try as we might, we just can’t make it right so its important to think about our disappointments theologically and put them in perspective.  I noticed some of the reactions to it that made it seem like as long as we know of our future hope, we should not be disappointed.

I’ve heard this before…

I often get the impression in our Christian circles that disappointment is taboo. It’s not that disappointment is not a reality but when we do get disappointed, its because we need to adjust our attitudes.  I have often heard this expressed this way – the problem is our expectations. If we could just temper our expectations than we won’t be disappointment anymore. The underlying sentiment is that disappointment is a product of our own choosing, that if we make the necessary changes than we should not be disappointed. But more telling in this sentiment is the understated reality that somehow disappointment is our fault.

But what this misses is the fact that we live in imperfection. Our lives are not perfect and neither is the world.  I’m struck by Paul’s words in Romans 8

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that creation itself will be set free from its bondage of corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are now saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:18-25) Continue reading