A Benediction for Your Disappointments (just in case the day doesn't go as planned)

I remember being a little girl and throwing the classic tantrum on my bed—legs battering the mattress, arms flailing, wails of injustice running from my throat. I don't recall the offense now but I am sure the pitched fit was completely rational, as they all are. I'm sure it was some very large violence done against my very small-self. Not getting my way has always been devastating.

Disappointments, like all things God uses in my life, can break up the soil of a stagnant heart. Big or small, insignificant or completely life altering, when something disappoints so much that I want to pitch a fit, I know that my focus has been stolen or skewed or momentarily seized by unattainable ideals. Otherwise, I could accept the turn of events as another Thing Sifted Through the Hands of God. If my focus were right I wouldn't be pulled into the spiral of a grown-up tantrum, which consists of sitting on my bed, stewing in unspoken thoughts, and punching imaginary walls.

This is part of life, though. Being disappointed is part of a longing unfulfilled and this world was not meant to satisfy all our desires and make us spoiled brats. We are struggling to live in two worlds, redeemed from disappointment but still disappointed. We want more than one world can offer.

And hello. We are often a let down to others with high hopes.

Lowering my expectations is probably not the answer. Instead, I try to be reminded that all my hope is in Christ, Who is both in this world and in another completely disappoint-less one, a kingdom eternal. The desire for more than this world can offer is the fuel for high hopes, and when plans fail or people fail or all hell seems to break loose, that desire for more reminds me to look at the smallest victory available in the moment. Because Christ is here, there is always something to see.

May you find small victories today, priceless and precious in a world of Big Things. 

When a child smiles, may you see the face of God. When a child cries or complains, may you be the face of God. 

May you have grace for the graceless and guard your words for the sake of your weaker brother. 

May you bear up under the disappointments of others. 

When the moment doesn't turn out the way you hoped, the way you imagined, may all your hope and imagination turn to a coming kingdom. 

And when you find something perfect—a moment, a word, a mood, a song, a picture, a taste, a smell—may you give thanks for the bit of eternity you've seen.