Today is October 22. Many of my readers would probably know the significance of this date. This is when the "Great Disappointment" of 1844 occurred for those who believed that Jesus was coming on that date. Obviously, He didn't, and the disappointment the believers experienced was equal to the high expectation they had cherished. Another example of a "great disappointment" in church history was the cross. In both cases, the believers expected some great event because they misinterpreted the scriptures, but their hopes were dashed and they experienced disappointment. However, in both cases God had something infinitely better in store for them. Instead of an earthly kingdom, Jesus was establishing His heavenly kingdom at the cross. And instead of coming in 1844, Jesus began His final work of atonement so that we can actually be ready when He comes.
This doesn't only happen on a church-level. In my own life I have experienced times when I have been disappointed, or have gone through a trying time. For example, coming back to Fountainview to work has been an awesome learning and growing experience, and I love being able to be here with the students and staff I have made friends with. But one "disappointment" I have experienced is not being so involved in the music program any more. Last year it was the very air I breathed -- almost my entire life and passion outside of school. It was one of my greatest passions for God, writing and playing music all the time that directly praised Him. And I especially loved working with my friends in the orchestra and music office. Then this year, all of a sudden, I found myself so close, sometimes able to savour a small taste every once in a while, but no longer a real part of it. It's so hard to explain, but I'm sure you have had your own personal experiences like this. It's been a hard struggle, and I've missed it terribly. I no longer have something that was so dear to me.
I still miss it, but I am finally starting to learn the lessons God had for me in this experience. He's taught me that I can have joy in Him no matter how sad or discouraged I feel. I need to keep my eyes off of myself and what I want, and instead focus on the purpose He has for me right now, right here. Jesus has something better for me than I could possibly imagine; I just need to trust Him, in spite of the circumstances. And I can do none of this without His Spirit living in me, filling me with that unexplainable joy, keeping my focus on Christ, and giving me strength to trust Him.
The song "Blessings" by Laura Story says it so well:
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise