Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Do We Do With Disappointments?

Hi Everyone! Had jury duty this morning, but since all the cases were "continued," (I think that was the term used) the entire group of jurors were released at 10:30 a.m. today! Woo Hoo!

I seem to get summoned for jury duty each year. Got there ten minutes late due to waiting in line at the scanners. I did get to view most of that boring film that I have seen over and over again. However, I did find out something that I had not realized before. I have always assumed that if a juror gets on a case, they don't need to serve again for three years. Not so! Whether you participate in the "one day" or "one case" scenario, you can still be called back for jury duty after one year. Well...I was glad to get out of it so fast and easily this time!

During the two and one half hours I was there, I had the chance to read a few more chapters of "Traveling Light" by Max Lucado. Chapter 15 is called, "Slippery Sheep and Healed Hurts - The Burden of Disappointment."

While attending a Bible study back in 2006, I utilized portions of this chapter in Lucado's book and portions of Bill Keller's book called, "A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23." Previously, I wrote a blog post about it over at The Way of God in Truth blog that dealt mostly with how the good shepherd "anoints" his sheep with oil for preventative purposes. However, Our Good Shepherd - Jesus Christ - "anoints our heads with oil" for an additional purpose - to heal our hurts, our wounded hearts, the pain in this life and to not allow it to consume our lives.

Lucado explains:


A disappointment is a missed appointment. What we hoped would happen, didn't. We wanted health; we got disease. We wanted retirement; we got reassignment. Divorce instead of family. Dismissal instead of promotion. Now what? What do we do with our disappointments?

We could do what Miss Haversham did. Remember her in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations? Jilted by her fiance' just prior to the wedding, her appointment became a missed appointment and a disappointment. How did she respond? Not too well. She closed all the blinds in the house, stopped every clock, left the wedding cake on the table to gather cobwebs, and continued to wear her wedding dress until it hung in yellow decay around her shrunken form. Her wounded heart consumed her life.

We can follow the same course.

Or we can follow the example of the apostle Paul. His goal was to be a missionary in Spain. Rather than send Paul to Spain, however, God sent him to prison. Sitting in a Roman jail, Paul could have made the same choice as Miss Haversham, but he didn't. Instead he said, "As long as I'm here, I might as well write a few letters." Hence your Bible has the Epistles to Philemon, the Philippians, the Colossians, and the Ephesians. No doubt Paul would have done a great work in Spain. But would it have compared with the work of those four letters?


This is when it hit me. Perhaps it was a minor revelation from God through the Holy Spirit. But before I share it, I must share my previous state of mind.

Ever since the election, I have been asking God, "what are you doing, Lord?" I know that I need to trust Him. I do. Most implicitly. However, watching our nation go down into a spiraling cesspool of immorality, crime, greed, and financial disaster is frightening. Plus, seeing an individual who is involved in a lot of such evil things; plus being a possible usurper through manipulating a fraudulent election has been very disappointing. Seeing this man get away with it is highly disconcerting - not only for me, but for millions of other Americans as well. Am I allowed to ask, "what are you doing, Lord?" Of course. But then comes the time where I need to also say, "not my will, but yours."

When I read about Paul's goal to go to Spain in this chapter, but instead - he was sent into prison, I thought about our nation. Of course, Paul hadn't lost his way, but our nation has. Perhaps we, as a people and nation need to bear the burden of this liberal licentiousness and socialistic prison that we are about to enter into for four years through this new administration in order for more people to realize just Whom they REALLY need to turn to - Jesus Christ.

THAT was the answer to my question to the Lord! It was as if I could say out loud, "Oh...THAT is what you are doing!"

Our entire goal, as Christians on this earth is to share the gospel with those who either do not know Jesus yet - or who may have previously rejected him. Just like in the case of Paul NOT going to Spain - and instead ending up in prison - he most likely would not have reached any where near as many people in Spain as he obviously did as his letters were passed down through centuries via their inclusion in the Bible.

So too, perhaps Christian believers will have the opportunity to reach more people with the Gospel than ever before because of the disappointment that will inevitably befall our nation once most realize that they have placed their faith in the wrong person. So many have placed much hope in one human person who, unfortunately, has replaced (in their secular humanistic minds) the REAL Messiah - Jesus Christ - for a fraudulent one who is, in reality, just like them; that being, another flawed sinner in need of the Savior!

This was my revelation today.

Lucado goes on and describes how wounds can lead to bitterness, disappointments lead to irritations, and the daily swarm of frustrations and mishaps can lead to heartaches. Some of our deepest hurts come from butting heads with other people.

Other wounds come from just living. We have to face aging, loss, illness, betrayal and injustice.

Lucado:


Live long enough in this world, and most of us will face deep, deep hurts of some kind or another.


We, like the sheep of the pasture get wounded, however, we, like those sheep have a shepherd.

"We belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends" (Ps. 100:3). He will do for you what the shepherd does for the sheep. He will tend to you.

Lucado:


If the Gospels teach us anything, they teach us that Jesus is a Good Shepherd. "I am the good shepherd," Jesus announces. "The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep: (John 10:11).


Lucado provides many examples of Jesus tending to those who belong to him. He protects us against disappointments. In the Bible we read how Jesus prevented wounds and healed wounds. He touched the eyes of the blind man, the disease of the leper, and the body of a dead girl and raised her back to life.

Jesus tends to us not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Recall how he touched the searching heart of Nicodemus, the broken heart of the woman caught in adultery, the confused heart of Cleopas, the stubborn heart of Paul, and the repentant heart of Peter. What does this tell us?

Jesus is in the business of redemption. He is constantly redeeming us here on this earth.

Maybe some reading here today are wondering what the verse in Psalm 23, "You anoint my head with oil" has to do with the hurts that often come from the disappointments in life. I hope the following helps you to "get it."

Lucado writes:


And [meaning God] will tend to you. If you will let him. How? How do you let him? The steps are so simple.

First, go to him. David would trust his wounds to no other person but God. He said, "You anoint my head with oil." Not, "your prophets," "your teachers," or "your counselors." Others may guide us to God. Others may help us understand God. But no one does the work of God, for only God can heal. God "heals the brokenhearted" (Ps. 147:3).


Wow! Is that an awesome paragraph or what??

We are to take our disappointments to God. Have you? Many of us share them with relatives, friends and neighbors, but have you taken them to God?

James says, "Anyone who is having troubles should pray" (James 5:13).

Lucado:

Before you go anywhere else with your disappointments, go to God. Maybe you don't want to trouble God with your hurts. After all, he's got famines and pestilence and wars; he won't care about my little struggles, you think. Why don't you let him decide that? He cared enough about a wedding to provide the wine. He cared enough about Peter's tax payment to give him a coin. He cared enough about the woman at the well to give her answers. "He cares about you" (1 Pet. 5:7).

Your first step is to go to the right person. Go to God. Your second step is to assume the right posture. Bow before God.

In order to be anointed, the sheep must stand still, lower their heads, and let the shepherd do his work. Peter urges us to "be humble under God's powerful hand so he will lift you up when the right time comes" (1 Pet. 5:6).

When we come to God, we make requests; we don't make demands. We come with high hopes and a humble heart. We state what we want, but we pray for what is right. And if God gives us the prison of Rome instead of the mission of Spain, we accept it because we know "God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them" (Luke 18:7).

We go to him. We bow before him, and we trust in him.

The sheep doesn't understand why the oil repels the flies. The sheep doesn't understand how the oil heals the wounds. In fact, all the sheep knows is that something happens in the presence of the shepherd. and that's all we need to know as well. "LORD, I give myself to you; my God, I trust you" (Ps. 25:1-2).

Reference source: Traveling Light by Max Lucado, 2001 W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, pp. 125-130.

P.S. Another great post written by my friend Tammy during that 2006 Bible study:

God's Spirit is With You Always

8 comments:

GMpilot said...

"What do we do with disappointments?"

Well, normally, I'd tell you to put on your big girl panties and deal with it...but you won't listen to me.

For months now, you've been wailing about the so-called dubious background of Barack Obama, while calling for action from the U.S. Supreme Court--those very "activist judges" you've excoriated these past few years. Now, when you want them to do something (i.e. overturn the election), they're not 'activist' any more.

Your heroes and you claim to be 'defending the Constitution', and using that to disguise the fact that you're afraid of this Muslim radical socialist Negro who is about to assume the office of the Presidency. At least Richard Viguerie was more honest about it: he died rather than face the prospect!

Would you like some more cheese with that whine?

Christinewjc said...

GM,

As usual, you demonstrate - once again - that you just don't get it.

One thing is for sure. You have certainly swallowed that blue pill.

rebecca said...

PEGGY NOONAN
PAUL GIGOT
BILL KRISTOL
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
LARRY KUDLOW
GEORGE WILL
DAVID BROOKS

These are the "conservatives" who had dinner with NOBAMA the other night. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Tell me -- would they have had dinner with Hitler? With bin Laden?

These "conservatives" are traitors to America, traitors to the Constituion. We won't forget. We have to remember, in 2012, that this will be the CABAL conspiring against us -- maybe the same one's who have been SLANDERING and DEFAMING Governor Palin in the Liberal Press.

Where has my AMERICA gone? Your words really touched my heart, Christine. CHRIST IS THE ANSWER -- and this tribulation brings us closer to him. but I want to know how I can HONOR Christ in this time of evil and confusion -- how can I help to save America and it's CHRISTIAN heritage?

I'll be PRAYING for answers.

GMpilot said...

Christine, I tend to believe anyone who claims they're looking for the truth.
What makes me skeptical are those who claim they've found it.

Christinewjc said...

Know what GM? If the truth be told (according to Scripture) it is He - Jesus Christ - who found me; not the other way around. I just responded to the invitation.

Amazing Grace lyrics portion:

"I once was lost, but now am found.
Was blind but now I see."

Christinewjc said...

Rebecca,

I wonder. Are any of those conservatives on that luncheon list born again Christians?


You wrote:

"Where has my AMERICA gone? Your words really touched my heart, Christine. CHRIST IS THE ANSWER -- and this tribulation brings us closer to him. but I want to know how I can HONOR Christ in this time of evil and confusion -- how can I help to save America and it's CHRISTIAN heritage?

I'll be PRAYING for answers."


I am so glad to read that this post touched your heart! As fellow Christians, we are told to "build eachother up" and the best way to do that is through worshipping Jesus Christ and studying/applying God's written Word in our lives!

We are told that "the days are evil" in Scripture. From the looks of the inauguration "festivities" (go see the "pig sex" post at WorldNetDaily...on second thought - don't read it) we are in for a very dark and immoral time for our nation under Obamination.

Keep coming here for the hope that is being shared about Jesus Christ. It is the goal of this blog to be salt and light and point others towards our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I will not even turn the T.V. news broadcasts on during the inauguration week.

Instead, I will be watching the mini-series "John Adams" on DVD. It will be a reminder of how our Founding Fathers fought and worked so hard to get this free nation started; and how they had the utmost love and reverence for Almighty God the entire time they were writing our founding documents.

The trampling of our U.S. Constitution is something that I never thought I'd live to see. Unfortunately, it will be happening in 2009.

I will cling to the Lord Jesus Christ and all of his promises.

This world will one day fall to dust and blow away. All of the "works of man" will amount to nothing when we come face to face with our Lord in eternity. Scripture tells us, "all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." How more filthy is the sin, evil, depravity, and unrighteousness of man?

I hope you had the chance to read my friend Tammy's essay. The reminders contained within are certainly encouraging and inspirational!

Though we are entering into a "valley" with this dark administration taking over, note what God's Word tells us:

My Valleys: Short Sighted.

God's Provision: An Eternal Perspective.

1. An eternal perspective that our life is just a vapor and eternity is close. (See Jam 4:14 )
2. What is your life, you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (See Jam 4:14 )
3. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (See Mat 6:20)
4. You will have your reward in heaven. (See Mat 5:12; Mat 6:1 ; Luk 6:23 )
5. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, and eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (See 2Cr 5:1)
6. Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. (See 2Cr 5:2; Rom 8:23; 2Cr 5:4)

Gary Baker said...

"Christine, I tend to believe anyone who claims they're looking for the truth.
What makes me skeptical are those who claim they've found it."

Which amply demonstrates once again how liberals laud failure and resent success.

Ted said...

The current SCOTUS threshold for a MUST STAY of BHO’s inauguration is not whether he is ultimately determined constitutionally ineligible to be POTUS, merely whether there now is SERIOUS QUESTION on his constitutional eligibility, since any determination of inelligibility AFTER inauguration would pose unnecessary civil and military difficulties.