On disappointment with God...

The blogger, Happy, wrote a post that hung with me. She quotes Dan Allender who used this phrase in his book, Sabbath: The Ancient Practices :

We have learned to manage our disappointment with God...

That thought cloaked me like some dark gray blanket as it captured a truth that I'd never really owned before.  

There is so much I don't understand.  Why do we suffer? Why do I look up to people, then find out they do stupid things?  Why doesn't the whole thing work as advertised? 

John and I were talking the other night about the apostles and John made the comment that you couldn't "sell Christianity" with "those guys." No one wants to give up everything for faith to get those types of outcomes. The heroes of the faith weren't showered with wealth and comfort. 

Have we turned the Gospel into some wonder drug that you can buy for $19.95? Because if so, of course we are disappointed. Is our faith so layered with cultural expectations, consumerism, buildings, doctrines and rules that we get disappointed over stuff that isn't even real? 

What would happen if we stripped away to just the idea that God--who by the very definition owns and runs it all--humbled Himself to live as a man and suffer, just to buy us back so that we could be in relationship with Him? 

Is a God like that worth following? Would we really give up everything--even our expectations--to pursue Him?  

What if our disappointment with God lies in the gap between what He wants for us and what we want for ourselves? Could we trust Him enough to acknowledge that what He wants is higher? That the shaping of our souls is more desirable than the comfort of our selves? 

I confess.  I have been bitterly disappointed in many of the things that God has chosen for me. I don't want to paint a bleak picture.  I'm happy.  I have a really beautiful life.  But there are scars and confusions. Everything from deep pain to shallow grievances.

Perhaps the art of faith is to actually believe God is One who loves us...and that the things He works are good--not just in the grand scheme of things--but good on a personal level.

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Maira Gall