Kylie took the kids out today to do three things: go to the nursery, pick up lunch from Lee's with honey biscuits, and then go have a picnic at the park then play. Well, when thunderstorms rolled in right as they were picking up lunch, their hopes of the park were dashed. We had some very disappointed kids, which was fine. But what wasn't fine was taking it out on their mom. That's never okay, and she had no control in the matter anyhow. Well...how often when we get disappointed do we do the same thing? We lash out at others, or even worse, we lash out at God as though he had something to do with it. We need to learn how to properly deal with our disappointment in a godly way, and that begins with realizing that we must be in control of our emotions.
What if I told you that God could be seen in the most ordinary things every day?
What if I told you that every day, ordinary events could teach us extraordinary eternal truths?
Would you believe me?
Hi, I’m BJ Sipe – and you’re listening to the Set Your Mind Above Podcast.
I am a Christian, a preacher, a husband, and a father.
Thanks for tuning in!
This morning as absolutely beautiful here in Danville, Kentucky. The neighbors were out mowing, the birds were singing, and the kids were itching to get out of the house. Usually Thursdays for me are primarily reading and writing days, meaning I don’t necessarily have to be anywhere at any specific time. I was finishing getting ready to leave the house and head to one of my coffee shops to do my work when Kylie mentioned today is one of those days she still wished we had two cars so she could take the kids out. I stopped and said, “Well, everything I need to do I can do from home. Why don’t you take the car and take the kids out – I know they’d love it.” Kylie agreed and went off to tell the kids, who were extraordinarily excited to be surprised with these impromptu plans! It looked to be a full day of fun as they had three stops planned: the nursery to pick up plants for our planter boxes, Lee’s chicken to get the kids lunch since they’ve been asking for honey biscuits, and finally the park where they could eat a picnic and then play on this beautiful day. I got set up at the kitchen table and got to work as they pulled out of the driveway on the way to their fun day. A few hours went by and I started to notice that the beautiful blue sky had gradually been replaced with dark grey clouds. It was around this time that I got a call from Kylie. She said they had wrapped up at the nursery and were on their way to Lee’s, but that the weather was starting to look rough. I checked my weather app and sure enough, it said that there was a decent chance of rain and potentially thunderstorms coming through our very soon. She said that they’d get lunch and just see what the weather does – if it held out, she would take them to the park, but if it got bad, they’d just bring lunch home. No sooner did I hang up the phone when the first crack of thunder rolled ominously above. Within minutes a light rain started, and within a few minutes of that the light rain had given way to a complete downpour. There was no way the kids were going to get to go to the park like they had planned, and I knew they were going to be disappointed. Before long they pulled back into the garage, and I was met with some very disappointed children. “I’m sorry you guys couldn’t go to the park,” I said. “Oh, that’s not the only problem,” Kylie responded. Apparently, Lee’s was completely out of honey – and we had none at home. A double whammy, and double disappointment. We got the kids set up for lunch and I did my best to be patient given the circumstances, but attitudes continued to worsen as lunch progressed. Finally, I’d had enough and I sat down in front of both of them to have a serious conversation. “It’s okay to be disappointed, but it is not okay to take out your disappointment on everyone else around you. You’re both being very unfair to mommy. Is it her fault that Lee’s didn’t have honey?” They both shook their heads no. “Is it her fault that the weather changed?” They shook their heads no again. “Then why are you upset with mom?” They didn’t have an answer. After some very sincere apologies, they went on to have a better lunch, and hopefully a better rest of the day.
Needless to say, we have all suffered from varying disappointments throughout our life. Granted, our “awful scale” is very different depending on the stage of life that we happen to be in – but it is disappointment, nonetheless. For a kid, it’s dealing with the disappointment of missing out on the park because a thunderstorm moved in. For an adult, maybe it’s dealing with the disappointment of not getting that position you applied for. It might be even something as serious as having your whole life turned upside down, as you go in for a routine check-up and discovering they found cancer. Whatever the case may be, our disappointment most often stems from expectations that we had not being met. And while it’s okay for us to be disappointed to a certain extent when things don’t pan out how we would like, the question that we need to ask ourselves is this: how do I deal with that disappointment? I am reminded of what Paul has to say in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity.” Like anger, disappointment is a natural, normal human emotion. As a matter of fact, they often go hand in hand. But notice what Paul says: “be angry and do not sin.” Scripture teaches us a very profound truth that we must remember: we have control over our emotions. In this “feelings” driven world, we often justify our abuse and mistreatment of others because of how they made us feel. We’ll say things like, “well, you made me angry!” or, “you were irritating me,” – as though that gives us the right to then lash out at others. In the same way, there are going to be things that disappoint you – but under no circumstances does that disappointment give you the right to take it out on others. We need to step back and look introspectively at our actions: who or what is in control? Let’s take this a step further though, shall we? Often when we as people deal with the disappointments of life, we have a tendency to then turn and unfairly place the blame upon God as though he had something to do with it. Is God the one that gave you cancer? Is God the one that didn’t hire you on to the job you really wanted? Did God send thunderstorms to dash your hopes of a park day? When you say it out loud like this, I think most of us can hear just how utterly ridiculous such claims like this are. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, helps to bring some clarity to this discussion when he wrote, “Again I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them. For certainly no one knows his time: like fish caught in a cruel net or like birds caught in a trap, so people are trapped in an evil time as it suddenly falls on them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12) Sometimes, things just happen. And they don’t happen the way that we had hoped they would, or the way we thought they should. It leaves us disappointed, frustrated, and upset. But guess what? That’s part of living in a broken world, which by the way is broken on account of our sin. Time and chance happens to us all, and God often has nothing to do with it…so why do we blame him? We must be so mindful of misdirected anger and frustration when we are disappointed with circumstances beyond our control in this life. EVEN IF God had something to do with the object of our disappointment…who are we to question God? Job found this out the hard way when he questioned God, and the Lord would in turn question him and ask in Job 40:2, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who argues with God give an answer.” Obviously, this is rhetorical. Who can correct the Almighty? Who has the right to be angry with God? No one. My friends, sometimes life just happens – and that’s okay. It’s okay to be disappointed. It’s okay to be let down or bummed. What we must be so careful of, however, is how we respond to those things and treat God or treat others. I’ll end today’s podcast with one of my favorite quotes from the Princess Bride, “Get used to disappointment.”
Thank you for tuning in for this week’s episode, and I would invite you back every Thursday for a brand-new episode each week. If you haven’t already, be sure to find us on Facebook for future announcements or even some special video sessions. If you have benefited from this podcast, share it with someone else that you think would benefit from it also. Until next time, know that I love you, that God loves you, and may we all each & every day set our minds above.