May 20, 2015

Dictionary.com defines it as, “the feeling of sadness or displeasure by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”  You know that feeling.  Things just aren’t working out the way you think they should.

Disappointment has been around for a long time.  It seems to be such a persistent part of human life that the early writers of the Bible even attributed it to God, in both the allegory of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah.  God was so disappointed with the behavior of His creation that He permanently evicted them from the Garden of Eden.  Seeing no improvement, but, in fact, a worsening, He drowned them all – except Noah and his family – in an epic flood.

If God Himself can be so disappointed, what chance have we for overcoming it?  And why should we bother if it’s inherent in us?

We need a new view of God and of His creation.  Actually, not a new view, but the right view.  That right view is found in the first chapter of Genesis.  There’s no bad behavior there, on either the part of man or God, so no reason for disappointment.

In the book of James in the Bible, the author calls God, “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (1:17)  That’s the God that Jesus knew.  His heavenly Father was consistently good and reliable, consistently life and love. And not just when Jesus prayed, but when his disciples and countless followers prayed, even for a number of generations after his ascension.  Even today.

 What does that mean for you and me?  That we can expect to overcome and move on from disappointment, regardless of the circumstances.  This even includes disappointment with ourselves.  It won’t necessarily be easy, but knowing that it’s possible is a great help.

How?  By remembering what Jesus knew.  His ministry – how he lived, what he taught – was filled with the healing of disappointment in every form: illness, unkindness, lack, fear, sin, death.  Those conditions all seemed so real to those who had them.  But Jesus proved them to be unreal.  He took each and its consequences away leaving his followers restored.

Is this possible for us?  Jesus said it was.  “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”  (John 14:12) Take him at his word.  Challenge disappointment.  Overturn it.  Heal it.  Move on from it.  See it as he did: an imposition on the beloved child of God.  This promise from Revelation guarantees it: “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (21:4)

 Disappointment?  No.  Peace.  And joy.  And satisfaction.  All the natural outcome of a better view of God and man.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Lulu’s dilemma

May 7, 2015

Lulu was frantically pulling things out from under the bed which was strewn with overturned drawers.  She stood up, wild-eyed, quickly scanning the room.  “Where are they?” she screeched.

Lulu had run out of twos.  She had plenty of ones and threes, and all the other numbers, but not enough twos to do her daily multiplication tables.  And surely not enough twos to get her favorite latte and go grocery shopping.  She thought she had a hidden stash of them in some dark corner of her room, but they simply were not to be found.

She sunk down to the floor and covered her face with her hands.  What was she to do?  Lulu thought perhaps she could recite her times table and just avoid those that had twos in them.   Way more work than she was prepared for. Or she could call a friend and borrow some but then she’d have to return the favor, which could be tricky.  Or she could go online and buy more – but she’d need twos to do that – and it would take too much time.

There just wasn’t a good solution.  Maybe she should just go back to bed.

Wearily, Lulu shoved everything on the floor, climbed under the covers and pulled them over her head.

Aren’t you grateful that numbers aren’t things that can be lost or used up?  Numbers are ideas and there’s no limit to how many you can have or use.  You don’t have to hoard them or use them sparingly.

Interestingly, God’s creation works the same way.  It’s filled with infinite ideas that are all as good as God is.  Ideas like intelligence, harmony, stability, progress, health, strength, courage, delight, and so on.  God’s beloved children – you and I – have access to and express these infinite ideas, infinitely!  The Psalmist says, “How precious…are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand…”  (139:17,18)

When things seem hard, and it would be easier to pull the covers over your head, remember that God fills all space.  And just as there’s no shortage of numbers, there’s no limit to God’s goodness.  It’s as available as 2, or 3, or 4.

And you can count on it!

This is part 3 of the Lulu saga.  To see part 1, click here, and part 2 click here.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.