Why We Can Trust God with Disappointment

Many years ago an author I’ll call Jen told how she and her daughter Vicky were writing a book together to give the mother and daughter perspectives on incidents they had shared. They would choose an event; each would write their perspective, and then they’d compare notes.

Included in their list was a holiday weekend a stranger had spent with them. Being a pastor’s wife, Jen often hosted people in her home. This holiday she’d looked forward to having her college children home and spending time alone with her family. When someone asked them to welcome a college student who was the daughter of an overseas missionary family, Jen inwardly balked. “Lord, can’t we have some time for our family?”

But no one else came forward. So they invited the young woman into their home.

Jen described the disappointment she’d swallowed that weekend. It had gone fine, but recalling it resurrected her confusion over why God had not granted her reasonable request.

After writing her recollection of that holiday she read her daughter’s memory. Vicky described how she had been struggling with something she could not bring herself to reveal to any family member. But their guest picked up on her mood and asked the right questions. Vicky decided to trust her and poured out her misery and her dilemma.

This wise young woman helped her see the danger she was playing with. Vicky respected her wisdom and received the courage to change paths. Vicky saw that weekend as life altering and this stranger as God-sent.

Tears rolled down Jen’s cheeks as she read her daughter’s words. Jen had never guessed the danger her daughter was in. She thought God had withheld something good that she wanted. All along He had been granting her the deeper desires of her heart.

I shared that story to my group of Jesus’ girls as we talked about the importance of showing hospitality to the people of God, even strangers (3 Jn.). I couldn’t understand the emotion I felt as I recalled this story, until later.

While eating lunch I wondered again why that story stirred me. I realized it depicted God’s sovereign goodness and perhaps a scene in heaven. I can imagine Him showing us our stories from His perspective. When He does I’m sure tears will run down our cheeks as they did Jen’s when she read Vicky’s perspective.

We’ll weep over His goodness, His mercy, and His grace. We’ll weep that we ever doubted and distrusted Him. We’ll weep for joy that He overrode our shortsighted prayers.

We’ll weep for joy that He overrode our shortsighted prayers. #hope, #devotional Share on X

In the meantime, this makes me want to take each of my disappointments and questions and lay them on the alter of sweet surrender and say, “Your will be done. Your will, Your ways, and Your timing are best.”

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:8-10 NLT).

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  1. Ann Musico

    Debbie that is such an incredibly powerful story! I can imagine one day having God show me His perspective and finally understanding just what a blessing I received even when it didn’t seem so at the time. What a wonderful reminder that He is good and only good and we can trust Him totally.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you Ann. I loved that reminder of God‘s perfect ways.

  2. Glenda Betts

    Debbie, Thanks for sharing this story. Just what I needed to read today. Thank you for fulfilling your purpose with your beautiful writing and teaching talents. Blessings! Glenda
    PS. If any one has not done one of Debbie’s Bible studies, you are missing out on some riches in new understanding from God’s Word.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Glenda, you are so sweet! God bless you.

  3. Diane Allen

    This helps me tremendously today. I am grieving a severe disappointment and betrayal even right now. Last night my husband said maybe God removed me from a place because he was protecting me. I realize I just need to trust that the messy view I have of the tapestry is actually making something coherent and lovely on the other side.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Diane , I’m so sorry for your disappointment. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. May you since his nearness.

  4. Fuller

    Tears and agreement – this resonates SO!
    “My His eyes be my eyes” – -His perspective is the one I trust, whether or not He chooses to share it with me now. . . or “one day.” And perhaps even on that “one day” it won’t matter, because we will know fully that “All is Well” – – even as it actually is now.
    Thank you, Debbie, for this precious and important post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, dear Fuller!

  5. Melissa Henderson

    We may never know the reasons He has for guiding us along certain paths. I am thankful for His direction, even when I don’t understand. Great message Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! What a comfort. Thank you Mellissa .

  6. Janice

    This was timely! Loved the daughters perspective!
    I recently experienced a disappointment and was struggling with the right attitude. This helped and reminded me that God is above it all and workkng things out for my good. Instead of complaining I choose to tell Him my hurts and leave it there…

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Janice. How sweet to trust Him when we don’t understand.

  7. Pam Ecrement

    How good these words and the insight you gleaned and shared from the story, my friend. You give an excellent example of how often we misunderstand something because our view is so limited. Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Pam. I’m sure we’ll stand amazed when we Jesus shows us His side of our story.

  8. Lisa notes

    This is a great story, Debbie. We never know what or who God will show up through. I’m not as hospitable as I once was, so this is encouraging for me to read. I want my heart to be as open in my home as outside of my home.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lisa, I realized I showed a lot more hospitality when I was younger too. I also want my heart to be open. May He prompt us when it’s our turn!

  9. Diane

    Thank you, Debbie. One of my heart’s desires will be to hear “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

    Thank you for always providing Godly wisdom and encouragement that I personally need to accomplish that goal.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Diane, that is my desire too! May we spur each other on in the faith. Bless you, my dear friend.

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