We don’t have to live very long before we experience disappointment. I seem to disappoint my son at least a dozen times a day. He doesn’t always get to watch cartoons, or to eat candy or to play when and where or wants or to stay up late. Most of these decisions are made out of the best interest and safety of my child, rather than what he wants temporarily.

I am a lot older than my son and slightly more mature, but I still find myself disappointed over the same types of things. Not necessarily the lack of cartoons or candies, but over not getting what I want or things going quite as I planned. God, of course, always has a better plan than the one I came up with, but in the moment (and sometimes even the weeks that follow), it is so hard to remember. Nothing feels worse than being disappointed by someone you love, but it always happens. Spouses forget anniversaries, friends say things that are unkind and parents make mistakes. We can’t escape our sin nature. It creeps into every relationship we make. As much as it hurts – I think these disappointments are necessary. If a friend or a spouse could love you perfectly, we might not realize our need for the one who is love, Christ. Christ loved perfectly and completely. Yet, he still managed to disappoint. He was not the kind of savior the Jewish people were expecting. Some are still waiting for him to show up. He rode into town on a colt, not a stallion. He taught with stories not with an army. He spoke of love, service and forgiveness rather than power and retaliation. I can just imagine the disappointment on the disciples’ faces as they watched him hang on the cross. They had seen him perform hundreds of miracles. They were probably thinking things like this, “How could he let this happen?” Why doesn’t he do anything to stop it?” Without the cross the Christian faith is pretty empty. No grace, no forgiveness, no redemption, no empty tomb. This amazing act of grace was far more powerful than any savior we could have imagined or hoped for.

Christ experienced his share of disappointment as well. His family didn’t get it. His hometown rejected him. His closest friends couldn’t manage to stay up and pray with him in his hour of need. His friends fought over trivial things and never quite understood what he was trying to teach them. One of his closest friends denied him, not once but three times. And another betrayed him for just thirty pieces of silver. Despite all of this, he still laid down his life for them. For each of us and every single time we have managed to disappoint our God.

If people or events in your life seem to be letting you down, approach the cross this week to not only receive forgiveness but to grant it. Each one of those disappointments is to draw us closer to Christ and to lean on that perfect love that only He provides.

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