“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12)
Two of my worst times in the past year have been during periods when I dared to raise my hopes about improvement in my condition and situation, only to see those hopes dashed by the reality of my illness.
When disappointment visits us frequently we can find ourselves discouraged, depressed, and even angry at God. We can also become so wary of disappointment and of high hopes that we dial back our hope, perhaps even stop hoping for better days at all.
I wish I could tell you that you will not be disappointed in your hopes, and that your illness will never dash your hopes. My experience, however, is that illness can crush high hopes as easily as a fly struck down by a strong hand.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is picking ourselves up again when the crushing waves of disappointment strike us to the ground. Finding ways to rebuild our hope, even daring to hope for better things and better days when our hope is deferred.
This life can leave us with disappointments, especially those of us who are chronically ill. Yet we still need hope, and God continues to encourage us onward and forward, despite the setbacks that try to drag us down.
Perhaps you are afraid to hope, having been let down by life and illness so many times. I would encourage you to remember that we do not face disappointment alone, there is One who can pick us back up and rebuild our hope. Look to Jesus, He is an expert at getting back up after being knocked down by life.
Prayer: Dear Lord, We are angry, frustrated, and disappointed by illness and the limitations forced on us by illness. Yet help us to keep hope alive, and to always be honest with ourselves about our limitations. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Life has left him disappointed and struggling to hope at times, but God has been faithful, and always sees him through.
Are you angry and disappointed? Has life left you afraid to hope? Take your frustrations and disappointments to the Lord in prayer.
We can easily become reluctant to search–or even acknowledge– hope when it does arrive. We’ve been burned in the past and it is hard to hope again. When we put our hope in The Lord, however, and trust that whatever comes to pass (good or bad) is His plan for our life, and it does have a purpose, we will discover what real hope it. I hope this song blesses you, “It Might Be Hope” with Sara Groves. -Lisa