You know when you’re in church listening to the sermon and you feel the pastor is speaking specifically to you and only to you? Well I had that experience a week ago. The message was all about disappointment. But I also sensed the Lord wanted me to share some of it with us.
Yes, leaning on my pastor for inspiration once again. I trust you don’t mind.
We’re often disappointed aren’t we? Things aren’t turning out the way they should be or how we hoped they would? Our spouse still hasn’t made a commitment to the Lord even though we’ve been praying for it for however many years. In fact, they appear to be even more opposed to it. Our kiddies are struggling too which grieves us so and increasingly sends us to our knees.
What about our dearest friendships? The intimacy we once shared has disappeared. Why, we don’t know. There’s an open wound in our heart that brings us to tears most weeks.
Why God why? It wasn’t mean to be like this!
We want our situation resolved now. We get disappointed when it doesn’t. Our hope fades. How many times have you wondered whether your spouse will ever come to the Lord? Me, too many to count!
The Road to Emmaus
We’re all familiar with the story of the two disciples who have left Jerusalem on their way to Emmaus. I’d encourage you to read it again today (Luke 24:13-32).
Jesus (out of nowhere) comes alongside and asks them a question:
“What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” (v17)
The two disciples were “restrained” from recognizing it was Jesus in their presence.
Remember this is on the day Jesus is resurrected. The greatest day in history.
They had heard (whether firsthand or from other disciples) that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb and that angels said He was alive! (v23)
But they were sad! So sad in fact they were getting out of town.
“But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel.” (v21a)
They had expected someone else; someone like Moses who was going to free them from the Roman rule. Jesus brought something far better: freedom from sin and death so we could enjoy relationship with the Father.
“When your hope is misplaced you are guaranteed disappointment.” (Phil Pringle)
This disappointment also blinded them from Jesus’ Presence. They couldn’t recognize Him. Ever felt that when you’re so upset with disappointment you struggle to draw close to the Lord? Even when He’s right there? I have.
The Power of the Word
Jesus proceeds to give them the best bible study they (and anybody) have probably ever heard. They so marveled at His words they asked Him to dine with them when they arrived in a village.
They still didn’t know who He was.
It was only when He had blessed and broken bread that the duo’s eyes were opened, “and they knew Him.” (v31)
Then He vanishes. They now believe. So they return to Jerusalem and tell the other disciples all about their experience with Jesus.
I’m sure some of the eleven would have asked the question, “But you didn’t recognize Jesus for how may hours while He walked with you?”
Disappointment can do that. It steals our hope and blinds us.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)
If you’re struggling with a particular disappointment right now please share it with us in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so and we can pray over you. Grab a hold of the Word and draw close to Him. Let His Word minister to you. Remember He has never left you and is always working in the background. Just as He is with all of our spouses.
Grace and peace, dear friends.