Sometimes We Discover God in the Midst of Disappointment

My teenaged heart awoke to God while lying on my back on a dock staring at stars visible only to someone away from city lights. The smell of the marsh, the rhythmic lap of the river, and the chirping night symphony cast a spell that made me feel small, yet part of something magnificent. David surely felt this magic when he wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1).

Abraham also felt it. “For the Scriptures tell us, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith’” (Rom. 4:3, nlt). Genesis says this happened while he gazed at the stars.

Abraham had just defeated four wicked kings to rescue Lot, and he’d given up his rightful monetary reward. Perhaps he worried these kings would seek retribution. Or, in hindsight, had he been foolish not to take his fair share of the booty? Maybe he was just worn out from battle. Whatever his state, God understood and said, “Don’t fear, Abraham. I am your great reward.”

Now, if God told you He was your great reward, how would you respond? Would you bow speechless and amazed? Would you leap for joy?

Abraham said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless?” (Gen. 15:2).

“What can you give me?” Whoa, Abraham. Do you know whom you’re talking to?

His reply reminds me of the little girl who prayed, “Thank you for the baby brother—but I prayed for a puppy.”

Did Abraham’s Frankness Offend God?

No. Abraham and God were close. Abraham didn’t need to fake a pious response. God understood his disappointment and longing for a son. He promised Abraham a son and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”

Count the stars? Impossible! But Abraham gazed into the heavens anyway. The cold lump of disappointment melted as he watched new stars emerge.         

Belief warmed his core and spilled out in laughter and tears. Yes, he would become the father of many. The Creator, the One who spoke worlds into being, would do this.

And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:5–6 NASB).    

Why would counting billions of stars help Abraham believe he would father a son? God gave Isaiah similar instructions.

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing” (Isa. 30:26 NLT).

Why would counting billions of stars help Abraham believe he would father a son? #BigGod #Faith Share on X

Abraham began to count the stars and was overcome. Nothing was impossible for the Creator of all of this. The New American Standard Bible says he believed in God, and God counted his faith as righteousness.

The promise of a son was no longer remote when Abraham saw the size of God. The promise of great nations coming from an infertile couple was nothing to the Creator of the Milky Way.

In the end, God took Abraham’s weakness and turned it into a staggering promise. Not one heir, Abrahambillions.

What has discouraged you or left you feeling powerless? Have you brought your disappointment to God? Maybe it’s time for a little stargazing. Impossible problems are no problem for a big God.

*Adapted from Little Faith, Big God

To read more on facing disappointment click here.

Seminar this Week

I invite you to join us next Thursday evening on July 22, 2021, at 7 p.m. EST, to hear Brian and Denita Thomas talk about a Christian worldview in light of such issues as Critical Race Theory and BLM. This free seminar will meet on Zoom.

Navigating today’s culture can be challenging and confusing. There is much fear and division. How do we manage these issues and ideologies? The answer lies in developing a Biblical worldview.

Brian and Denita Thomas, founders of God 1st Bible Fellowship, will share information through a biblical lens. They will also empower us with scripture (the sword of the Spirit) to help us be vigilant and stand firm on Biblical principles.

If you’d like to attend this meeting, please contact me to save your spot. You are welcome to invite a friend. Brian and Denita will share for about 35 minutes. Then we will open it up for Q & A.

Click here to comment.



Photo by Klemen Vrankar on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. Marilyn

    Lord, increase our faith. Thank-you, Debbie, so encouraging. The
    Lord is the lifter of our heads &
    your words come from His Heart.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Thank you, Marilyn.

  2. Suzette K.

    Thanks for this encouraging post. I’m reminded that I haven’t been stargazing for a long time.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Suzette, it is hard to find those places without light pollution. But worth the effort and the stillness.

  3. Ann J Musico

    What a great reminder. It reminds me of when we moved into this house 31 years ago. We had our 2 little boys and felt our family was complete. My oldest son, then 3 asked if he could pray for a sister. It definitely surprised me but of course I said yes. Well God was faithful. I did get pregnant and he told everyone he saw that this was his babyy sister and 30 years ago she was born! The simple childlike faith – he never doubted for a moment. I try to remember that when something seems impossible! Thanks for bringing it to mind Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, that is so precious!! I love your son’s faith.

      • Ann J Musico

        And he is still a wonderful man of faith!!

        • Debbie Wilson

          That is even better!

  4. Jerralea Winn Miller

    I love that verse in Isaiah! To think He has a name for each of the billion stars; yet knows the numbers of hairs on my head – it’s incomprehensible!

    • Debbie Wilson

      It really is, Jerralea!

  5. J.D. Wininger

    Love this Ms. Debbie, When I find myself at low points in my life (and this week is certainly one of the lowest), I walk outside on a cloudless night and gaze upon God’s creation. When looking upward at the stars, of which God Himself has named each one, I often close my eyes for 30 seconds and then look skyward again. The result is that three or more times as many stars come into view. In that moment, like you, I realize how insignificant I am and how my problems are nothing when compared to all the problems in all the universe. Yet, God reminds me that as inconsequential as I might be across the universe, I am important to me. And He comforts me by helping me remember that He cares for me and will work whatever disappointment, pain, or grief I’m experiencing into a joyous blessing one day. Thank you for these comforting words ma’am.

    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D., I’m so sorry to hear you are experiencing a low point. May the Lord meet you in this place in a special way just as He did Abraham.

  6. Steffanie

    This was amazing…God always knows how and when to show up for us, doesn’t He? I’m learning this more every day. Bless you for sharing, my Front Porch has been blessed today.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes He does. Thank you, Steffanie!

  7. Lisa notes

    I don’t want to miss the real promised gift by holding onto what I *thought* would be the gift. Disappointment can really do a number on us! Thanks for this encouragement to let go of it, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lisa, our ideas of how God should answer can blind us to what He is doing. I don’t want to miss His work either!

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