Did God disappoint me?
I'm ashamed to admit it. It seems so vulgar to even think. How dare I say such a thing. Worse, how foolish of me to feel this way!
I knew this was one of those requests that seemed "unlikely." It's not that He can't or won't. It would just mean a near miracle experience would need to happen. But isn't that just like God?! Of course! Which is why I also admit that while tempering thoughts of excitement and anticipation, I was still entertaining the hope that it would be just like God to do this in the back of my mind.
It was there. Mixed with a dose of reality along with the cruelty I felt in trying to convince myself not to get ahead of myself...or God.
Here is my struggle. You know me - I'm being gut-level honest. How exactly is one supposed to go through the Christian life living on faith? We express our prayers, concerns, hopes and the desire of our hearts to the God who asks us to make our requests known, and yet we must remain grounded and expectant only of His will and not ours alone. How is one meant to balance this dichotomy of emotion? If I'm being honest, it seems like an oxymoron at times.
If I have faith the size of a mustard seed, and truly that's not requiring much of me at all, then my faith is credited to me as righteousness. That doesn't necessarily mean I get my way. That doesn't mean I get everything I ask for, everything I pray about, every single thing I seek from God. But if I pray and seek God's will - not my own - then I must surrender my desire for what He chooses for me.
Of course my head knows all these things. So, then, why does my heart feel disappointed? Why did I dare ask God "Why not? Why didn't you answer? Why didn't you do this?" How could I even approach Him in question and wonder about His plan for me? How dare I doubt His goodness and grace at work in my life? I honestly don't. But that doesn't take away this feeling of sadness or disappointment. And genuinely I can admit my failure in my own self for feeling this way. I'm such a mixed-up mess of emotions, I don't know what to feel!
It was the kind of request that would have just allowed God to show off. Let God be God. Only something He could do. People would have had to rejoice. People would have had to seen Him at work. People would have surely given Him all the glory. If He had answered... I was just convinced of the glorious miracle this would have been. But it's not. Does that make Him any less God? Heavens no!
Let me make sure this is clear. I am not mad at God. I am not upset with Him. I'm not angry in the least. Do I feel hurt? Yes. Was it disappointing? Surely. Is it still an unfulfilled longing in my heart? I admit it is. But none of those feelings make me doubt God. None of that causes me to wonder if He truly is good, or if He really does want what is best for me. It is precisely in His goodness that He chose this answer at this time, despite it being different than what I prayed for, because of His love and goodness toward me and because of the plan HE has for my life.
God knows. He knows my feelings of sadness and disappointment. He knows what my heart wants and seeks. He knows the plans He has for me. He knows the plans that will prosper me and not harm me. He knew, even when He knit me together and was planning all the days of my life before one of them came to be, that we would reach today - this day - where I would feel this way. He knows. He also knows what the future holds and that requires me to have faith in an all-knowing God who is working out plan for me until the day of completion.
So I surrender it all. Even my disappointment. Because it is in those emotions that I find Him, even more so than in my rejoicing if He had answered. In this state He comes to comfort me and hold me, He causes me to rest upon Him even when I don't understand. Even when I hurt. Even when I'm disappointed. Because He's God. He's still at work, even if it's not the way I asked Him to move. He's still navigating the details of my life, even if it's not the direction I sought. Here He reminds me to keep my eyes on Him. To seek Him for who He is and not for what I'd hoped He would do. To love Him for being God, my God. He reminds me what I ask is not wrong. He allows me the freedom to ask again. Yet He re-directs my attention to Him and not what I desire.
Make no mistake. I'm processing feelings of disappointment, but God has never disappointed me. He can't. He's God. What I feel is purely my own reaction to the expectation of what I wanted Him to do. Not my reaction to HIM or who He is. He's God and there is never anything disappointing about Him.