At some point, most people experience a situation where their life does not turn out exactly as they had planned. That could be in the form of a business or career failure, a marriage failure, a loss in death, a professional embarrassment, and... the list goes on.
Singer and songwriter Phil Keaggy penned lyrics that greatly impacted my life as a teenager in the seventies.
"Disappointment - His Appointment. Change one letter and you see that the thwarting of my purpose was His better plan for me."
I have thought about those lyrics often over the years, because my life did not turn out as I had hoped or planned. Far from it.
I experienced all of the above, and then some. Life for me has, at many turns, been very difficult, extremely painful, and overwhelmingly disappointing. Disappointing, at least until I came to understand that if the hardship, pain, and disappointment was "what it took" to get me to the place in life that I am now, it was worth it.
I do not refer to status, position, financial wealth, or any of the standards by which most people measure their lives. I am referring to my relationship with God.
Those hardships, hurts, and disappointments are now infinitely precious to me, because God, through them and my relationship with Him, has provided me with wealth that cannot be measured, that "treasure in heaven" that Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:33-34:
"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
That is the stuff of true value, value that can never be taken away by anyone or anything.
But understand this: Whether or not you attain such wealth, this "treasure in heaven" from your hardships and disappointments, depends upon your response to them, as the young ruler in Luke 18:22-23 found. You and I have a choice, just as he did.
The disappointments I experienced in my life have become the very foundation of this ministry. I am a passionate person and passionate in my delivery, to the point that, at times, I make people uncomfortable. But I must be passionate! I have been "there"! I know pain and the value that can come from the experience. The passion of my message is because of the pain in my life.
So, has the pain and the "disappointments" been a bad thing in my life? No! They have become, to me, "His Appointments". They prepared me for the work I would do the rest of my life.
If you have suffered disappointments in your life, do not be bitter and look back at what "could have been" or "should have been". Regardless of either, what "could have been" or "should have been" -- wasn't.
Instead, look to what will be. Find "His Appointment" in the "disappointment". It is there, and you will find it if you seek it with all Your heart.
And that requires you to seek Him with all your heart.
When you find "His Appointment", I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Cor 4:17 NIV)
G. Randall Vaughn