You’ve heard of twice-baked potatoes and triple-fried French fries, well this is a twice-written blog post.
Each week I set aside a day for writing and I am often working on several blog entries at once. I work a little on each one and then try to plan the order in which to post them.
As I have meditated on Ephesians 5.15-17 and thought about how to make the most of every opportunity, it occurred to me just how often opportunities come wrapped in disappointments, detours or delays.
So, I’ve been working on this idea and developing thoughts and words to express it.
And then I had some bad news.
It quickly reminded me just how hard disappointment is and I knew I had to rewrite this post with the authenticity that real life handed me.
Defeat, failure and bad news can have tremendous power in our lives. They have the ability to knock us sideways and derail our thoughts and emotions.
Proverbs 13.12 describes this feeling well when it says, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.’
Every person knows what that kind of heartsickness feels like. It is that awful pain in your soul that occurs when things that really matter haven’t turned out how you wanted them to.
I feel all those feelings today. I feel defeated and discouraged and worn out. And most of all, I feel like giving up.
But I have been here before, as the pages of my journal remind me. I have faced challenging circumstances that were hurtful and hard to understand and I have faced disappointments that were devastating. And every single time, without exception, I was able to eventually see God use it all for good in my life.
It is because I am so deeply loved by God that He intervenes and interferes and gets right in the middle of my business.
Because sometimes my good ideas need to be refined and sometimes my bad ideas need to just fizzle out. Sometimes dreams need to drift away because God has better, more perfect plans. Other times dreams have to die so God can resurrect them in His timing and for His glory. Sometimes the direction I am walking in needs a small tweak and sometimes it needs a complete U-turn.
And sometimes I just need to grow roots deep down in God and only difficulties will do that for me.
It is interesting that Proverbs 13.12 says that after the disappointment, when God’s blessings come, the result is a tree of life.
I am wondering today if it is difficulties in my life that produce the roots needed to support times of blessing and growth in the future. Perhaps it is only in waiting on God and trusting in Him that I am prepared for the increase and abundance that will come.
None of this means it doesn’t hurt. It just means there is purpose in it.
There are things God is doing that you and I just can’t see yet. I believe there are solutions and answers that will surprise us and there are new directions we couldn’t have imagined. And, in the midst of loss, when you least expect it, supernatural life can spring up.
And all the while we find ourselves falling deeper in love with God. His words and His voice become all we want and all we need. Our roots go deep and our hope is only in Him.
Today is an opportunity for me that is hidden in my disappointment. I will not waste it.