“It was a pretty remark I read, the other day, of a Christian man who said, ‘I used to have many disappointments, until I changed one letter of the word, and chopped it in two, so that instead of “disappointments,” I read it, “His appointments.”’ That was a wonderful change, for ‘disappointments’ break your heart, but ‘His appointments’ you accept right cheerily.”
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)
The human response to bad news is predictable: we battle with varying degrees of negative desire—to react in some way. Some situations we pat ourselves on the back because we don’t respond “as badly as those do.”
But life catches each of us. We each have our angry, fearful, and sad buttons—and the circumstances of life press them, eventually!
Now, we should not be so foolish as to seek out challenges and tests—that push our faith to the limits. Our role is to be ready for them; ready to receive them humbly and patiently; ready to work with God through them; ready to learn what God’s destined for us to learn; and, ready to respond gracefully with others.
In my experience, the one who brashly seeks a fearful unknown can often be the one who is trounced by God in the raucousness of their pride.
Disappointments come of their own accord. Trials enter our lives whether we like it or not. Hardship is ours eventually. Let’s not hurry them.
Divine Appointments of Life
Through the flowing stream of life, from the river’s dry and meagre origins to its thriving gush into the sea, as we travel downstream, there are the Divine appointments of life.
Truly, every moment.
And when we can see each moment not unlike the last or the next one we realise God’s in every moment just the same. From first to last—along the watery course of our lives—God never changes, nor does the nature of time, experience or circumstance.
Life is neither fair nor unfair; life is life—a thing all its own.
We may see now the trials and tribulations, delights and disappointments, hilarity and hardship all exist in the same way. We take them differently but they are the same to God.
One is destined as blessing of pleasure; the other, as the blessing of opportunity to grow.
When we see God in the disappointments of life we are not so much harmed by them as guided by them, to fully rely on God, because we would not be able to cope and thrive otherwise.
When we take our disappointments as discrete and divine appointments, seeking God in our response, we see life differently, and the challenge is transformed into an opportunity.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.