Our long-awaited trip to Ireland was postponed indefinitely due to the current pandemic. Although saddened by the news, we understood it was best.
The week after we would have travelled, our family reunion that had been in the works for over a year was cancelled. A few days later a much-anticipated conference was cancelled. The disappointments piled up.
We have all experienced challenges in the current crisis. Some have experienced much more significant ones than mine. Weddings have been postponed or cancelled. Proms and graduations delayed. Saying goodbye to loved ones with no option for a funeral. All are disappointments at varying levels of significance, but they all matter.
As I struggled with these cancellations and the resulting disappointments, our pastor challenged us with a question during our online worship service. We had just sung about surrendering all to Jesus. He challenged us on whether we were really surrendering everything. I knew I had not given God my disappointments. I was feeling sorry for myself; feeling like it was too much all at once. Yet, I knew others were experiencing many more painful challenges than mine. My pastor’s question hit hard. Was I willing to surrender my disappointment and let God step in and fill that void with something that would bring Him glory?
None of the cancelled activities had been bad things. In fact, they were good, relationship building plans. As I asked God to take the disappointments and turn them into something that could glorify Him, I was reminded of Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I had been focusing on the changed plans, the wall erected around my expectations. Instead, I should have been asking God for His desires during this time of waiting. Was I focusing on the good, the pure, the lovely and commendable?
The challenge to surrender all shifted my thinking. Slowly the lesson of expectancy is replacing the disappointment. Instead of what can’t happen, I’m choosing to look forward to what God has next. Is there something new I need to learn? Is He preparing me for a new assignment or a refinement of my current one?
As I seek God’s direction for this time, I pray you will join me. Many of us are in a holding pattern; an unplanned waiting season. I’m sure you have experienced some heartache, disappointment, challenges or frustrations during the season. I’m asking you the question my pastor asked, “Have you surrendered all to Jesus?” If not, please do so today. Give those hurts to Jesus and then ask Him to fill you with new ideas or assignments that will bring renewed commitment to Him and an expectancy of what He will do in this unexpected season of life.