“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” ( Psalm 107:1)
Jacob had a desire to marry Rachel whose father, Laban, tasked him to work for a good seven years first. However, once he was done he was in for a huge disappointment. The goal posts suddenly changed. He was presented the older sister Leah in place. “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work” ( Genesis 29:26-27).
One can imagine the feeling of disappointment on the part of Jacob after his expectation. A disappointment has been described as that feeling of “sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.” Whenever you have desired for something badly, only for it to fail to materialize, of course there is a disappointment. Think of a child who anticipated to make a certain grade and go to a preferred school only to be turned down because of his grades or even more hurting, to be sold to another school!
Life is full of disappointments. A business person may have met all conditions to secure a tender only to be rejected for another bidder. A job applicant can be turned down even after meeting all qualifications. After a promise to deliver goods, one can be disappointed in another person who fails to come through, without a good explanation. A disappointment leaves one ever disenchanted.
How we react to a disappointment is one of the most important thing in life. In Uganda, there was a recent case of a child who failed to score a certain grade and took his life. A disappointment can leave one embittered and brooding. There are those who even lose faith because they believe God has let them down.
Jacob took his disappointment with a positive spirit. Instead of pouting, he let go and agreed to work for another seven years, to have Rachel (vv 30).
Having met several setbacks in his tumultuous life, King David wrote, “But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation; I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me” ( Psalm 13: 5-6). Whenever faced with a disappointment, for they always do happen, choose as David did, to remain joyful for God will come through in due season.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where I encounter disappointment, may I look up to you, for my hope is in you, and you shall carry me through, this I pray in Jesus’ name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!