Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Cure for Disappointment
The Cure for Disappointment
By Margaret Feinberg
Disappointment is a cruel reality of life. We hope. We’re let down. We anticipate. The plan falls apart. We expect. We end up empty-handed.
Over the years, I’ve developed some less-than-helpful coping mechanisms for disappointment.
1. Practice hope management.
I still hope for events and the future, but with less exuberance and energy. I hedge my hope so I don’t have to face more disappointment.
2. Refuse to engage.
It’s one thing to live open-handed. But sometimes I live palms down, hands in my pockets with a come what may attitude of non-engagement. After all, if I’m not invested I can’t be let down.
3. Using the word impossible.
When I dub something as impossible, then I shove away the option from becoming reality. I shoot down ideas. I say that will never work. Or I use humor to deflate the potential.
What are your coping mechanisms for disappointment?
The problem with mine is they shrink my life, my potential, my relationship with God. In staving off the potential pain, I also slam the door to the potential joy.
Few followers of Jesus faced the depths of disappointment like the followers of Jesus. They anticipated a savior, a king, a grand rescue. Instead, they wrapped a corpse.
After the Sabbath, the women take spices to the tomb to further prepare the body for burial. They encounter two shimmering figures who provoke:
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
Somehow that question sums up much of what I feel when I’m swirling in disappointment. I’m scouring for hope among the dead ends. I’m stuck in a rut that doesn’t lead to life
Then the angels declare:
“Jesus is not here. He is risen.”
Those words remind me that we must never take up residence in the tombs of our disappointments. We must keep searching for Jesus. Remembering that we cannot follow Christ and stay where we are at the same time.
These precious women—Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the Mother of James—tell the apostles, but they don’t believe the news. Only when Jesus appears to they believe.
The series of encounters in this chapter:
The women at the tomb
The travelers on the Road to Emmaus
The disciples gathered in secret
All reveal that in the wake of broken dreams, disappointments, and even cynicism, Jesus awakes us with wonder and discovery.
Wonder and discovery open our eyes and hearts to God possibilities.
Wonder and discovery open our emotions to being able to hope again—full throttle.
Wonder and discovery open our spirits to the presence of Christ who often works in unsuspecting ways.
Today, my hope and prayer is that God will take away my heart aches and disappointments—both past and present—and replace them with wonder and discovery of His presence, faithfulness and competence in my life.
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