2 Things to Remember if You Find Yourself Disappointed

Imagine this scenario with me:

You are a parent, and your child comes to you asking for some gift. Maybe a video game. Or a new pair of shoes. Or tickets to a concert. There is nothing sinister or underhanded about the request – your child is making it in good faith. In their mind, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have this thing. In fact, there are multiple good reasons why they should.

And you love your child. In fact, you love them more than they will ever know, at least until they have a child of their own. Because you love them, you really enjoy giving them things. You love how their eyes light up; you love their joy when they receive them; you love the pride they feel when they get to put that gift to good use.

But you choose not to grant your child’s request. Why not?

Well, there are really only two broad reasons why you might deny them what they are asking for, and both of them stem from the fact that you know some things your child does not know. The first reason you might say no is because even though in the mind of your child there are many good reasons why having that “thing” is a good idea, you know some reasons why it is not. Perhaps you are looking down the road of materialism and consumerism and you want to proactively help your child avoid it. Or maybe you’ve read some reviews about whatever that thing is and it’s actually not as great as your child thinks it is. Or maybe you had something like that when you were a kid and it ended up being destructive for you in some way.

That’s the first reason why you might say no – it’s because unbeknownst to them, you are saving them “from” something they can’t see.

The second reason you might say no is not because you are saving them “from” something; it’s because you are saving them “for” something. Perhaps you’ve already bought them a different gift, one that they don’t see coming because it’s better than what they’re asking for. Or maybe by not getting this thing for them it allows you to provide them with an experience that is far better than a tangible present. Whatever the substitute, it’s better, and even though your kid thinks they have the absolute best thing in mind, you know they are being short-sighted.

So you say no. You say no either because you are saving them FROM something, or because you are saving them FOR something.

And perhaps the same principle holds true in our own disappointment when it comes to God. Because we, like our own children, can become convinced that whatever is in front of us is “the” thing – it’s “the” relationship. Or “the” job. Or “the” opportunity. So we ask and ask and ask, and whatever it is doesn’t work out.

What can we conclude?

Well, in the midst of forming that conclusion, we should fall back on what we know to be true:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:7-11).

We know God is a good Father. We know He loves us. And we know He is knowledgeable enough to know what those good gifts are. In light of those things, then perhaps we can say the same thing in the midst of our own disappointment. Here are the two things to remember if you find yourself in such a situation:

1. Either God is saving us FROM something…


2. He is saving us FOR something.

In either case, despite what we might think, He is doing the right thing. And the best thing for us.

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