Proverbs 3: 5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
When I was growing up my mother often quoted this passage, especially when things did not go exactly as we might have planned. As a child, I could not understand exactly what trust had to do with disappointment, but as an adult I am learning that both are issues of the heart.
We are disappointed, not because we don’t trust God, but because we don’t trust that what He has in store for us is good or better than what we have planned for ourselves. We may verbally acknowledge God’s hand in our lives and perhaps even accept disappointments as God redirecting our steps, but I wonder how often we really examine our hearts or lay our feelings before the Lord and ask him to reveal the deep heartfelt motivations that cause such discontentment when our plans are thwarted.
James tells us, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” But we may argue that we are seeking God’s will and therefore how can it be that we ask amiss? James goes on to remind us that the friendship of the world is enmity with God and that the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. We are continually at war with two opposing forces within our hearts – the one that seeks the things of the world even if we are deceived into thinking we are seeking God’s will and the other that seeks God and only God.
St. Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee”. As stated in the shorter catechism, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. We are to enjoy Him – God and God alone. All else is – or should be – as nothing in our lives. So disappointment is really a meter by which we may measure our hearts, and as with any measurement of the heart, we find we are sorely lacking. But when we bring our empty heart to God and ask him to strip away all desires – whether or not we deem them good, honorable, or worthy – and to fill us wholly and completely with Him, we find our hearts so full and so overflowing that we cannot possibly contain the joy. Disappointment has truly fled and trust has filled so that peace and gladness overflow.