It’s ok to be disappointed, hurt, frustrated, and even angry. It’s just not ok to let those feelings go unprocessed and rot your faith. Like any relationship, if you don’t bring your frustration and hurt into the conversation, it will leave you feeling cut off and bitter.
Overcoming disappoint in God isn’t a one size fits all process. Everyone’s journey is different. But ultimately, you have to let go of what you thinkGod should do, and start paying attention to what he is doing.
The Foundation of Faith
In the eleventh chapter of the Gospel According to John, Jesus is told that his good friend, Lazarus, is sick and dying. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, send word to Jesus to come quickly. They send for him under the assumption that since he healed countless other sick people, he would also heal Lazarus.
Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus and personally supported him and his mission. But for some inexplicable reason, Jesus chooses not to go to his friend. He even seems to brush off concerns about Lazarus’ condition saying, “This sickness will not end in death,” (11:4).
Then Lazarus died.
By the time Jesus and his disciples make it out to where the family lives, Lazarus has been dead for four days.
Mary and Martha are not only mourning the loss of their brother but also dealing with their disappointment in Jesus for failing to meet their expectations.
Jesus’ interaction with the sisters gives us a powerful framework for dealing with and overcoming disappointment. I’m going to use disappointment to encapsulate any and all emotions we may feel including anger, hurt, frustration, hopelessness, etc.
Here is how the story plays out, and what we can learn from it to overcome disappointment.