Dealing with Life’s Disappointments

It’s the time of the year when many of us look back at our goals and desires — and we may return from that self-imposed inventory with an empty feeling, a sense of desolation and abandonment and the eternal question, “Why, God? Why, when I’ve prayed so hard, and tried so hard?”

Therapeutic Garden, Bishan Park, Singapore

When I was a new Christian freshly baptized in the Spirit, I was asking God for many things, and it seemed like He was indulging me quite a bit! Among the many things, I asked for my dream job — a certain position in a magazine, a certain pay — and the owners were willing to accommodate! I was excited. But I also had an uneasy feeling as there was a sense of disapproval coming from Him. It was as if he was saying, “I’m giving it to you because you asked for it, but it won’t do you good.” I backed out.

Then, God gave me His Plan A. He led me into full-time ministry — it took nine years altogether from being a new Christian hearing His call, then working my way into theological college and into a full-time position as a church worker. I was in charge of the prayer ministry — He had the perfect position for me, and it has been a rich, fulfilling 21 years on which I look back with no regret and much satisfaction. He knew exactly what He made me for, and He put me into the right path.

Then, there was another prayer request: I was still single. There were a few relationships I had as a pre-Christian, but I had no peace in any of them. When the Lord became a more constant factor in my life, He made it crystal clear I had to let go of the current boyfriend. And it was easy, because I loved God so much more.

So, my prayers for a life partner were answered with a “No”. Was I upset? Yes. Was I disappointed? Yes. But after expressing my deep disappointment with Him — not once, but many times — there gradually came a peace and rest in my spirit. I didn’t get what I wanted, but He gave me what I needed — His peace and rest, His presence, love and guidance, and so much more revelation of Him and His Creation than I’d ever dreamed of or imagined.

My experience has been that when we’re willing to trust Him, He will lead us into the more abundant life. God may sometimes deny us our requests, but He always fulfills His promises.

So my question is, are you willing to trust His much greater wisdom?