how to handle disappointment

I am re-posting this one from last year, just in case someone out there really needs it.  As I read through status updates and have conversations with friends, I think it might be relevant.

Love, Anna

With teary eyes, I sat down with 2 upbeat kids to read them their bedtime story.  Generally, I am a kid person, and have a high value for engaging with them.  This night I was struggling to get to 7:30 bedtime.  I was quite relieved when the 3 year old insisted I play mermaids and sharks with her, only because it required getting into the bed and pulling the covers over my head.  The mercy of God can come in such strange ways.

The little boy handed me a comic Bible.  I told him to pick “one” story from the book.  I am not a first-timer here.  He chose 2 Samuel 12.  It is the story of David and Bathsheba’s first child.  Every kids favorite Bible story right?

Ha ha, I love my life.

As I swallowed huge lumps in my throat asking God to hold back my tears for another 10 minutes until I shut their door, He spoke to me through this comic Bible story.

The story begins with Samuel telling David a story.  The story is about a rich man who steals a very poor man’s sheep.  David becomes furious and demands that man be punished, the wise Samuel quickly informs him that he is that man.  He stole Uriah’s wife and killed him.  Samuel goes on to tell David that this sin will cost him the life of his first son with Bathsheba.

David repents, refuses to eat, and storms the gates of heaven with prayers for his infant son who soon became sick.

One week later, the child passes away.

The servants lurk in the corners of the room afraid to tell him the news.  Let’s picture David in the moment.  He has not eaten, he has not shaved or showered, and probably hasn’t slept much either.  I think I’d be a little afraid too, of the scent if nothing less.

David sees them and he bluntly asked, “is the child dead?”.  When they reply that indeed the child has passed, he gets up, eats, takes a shower and goes to the house of the Lord and he worships.

I want to stop here for a moment, because this fascinates me.  Here’s a few reasons why…

1. David believed in God’s goodness enough to cry out for the desire of his heart.

2. He repented, but chose not to walk in condemnation for his sin.

3. He didn’t change his view of God’s character when he didn’t get what he asked for.

4. He still believed God was good and worthy to be worshipped.

5. Instead of doubting, asking questions or walking in shame, he worshipped.

6. He focused his attention on the Lord rather than the emotions he felt.

I can’t help but be challenged by David at this moment.  Are these perhaps some of the reasons that he is the “man after God’s heart”?

What are my responses to disappointment?

Do I make a theology out of what happened to me?

Do I still believe He is good all the time?

Do I value worshipping Him above how I feel?

The story has an interesting and happy ending that I think isn’t coincidence, but God’s response to the pure heart of David.

David went to comfort Bathsheba, and she became pregnant again.  They had Solomon a man of peace, who “God loved”.

We’ve all experienced sin and disappointment in walking on this earth, can I ask you today how you handle yours?

Is there anything you can learn from David?

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