Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Disappointment

“The Cape Disappointment headland was first charted in August 1775 as “San Roque” (or “Cabo de San Rougue”) by Spanish explorer Bruno Heceta, as he explored the Northwest Coast. Heceta recognized this location was probably the mouth of a large river but he was unable to explore since his crewmembers were weak and suffering scurvy.”

“In July 1788, Lieutenant John Meares of the British Royal Navy used Heceta’s navigational charts to explore the West Coast of North America while looking for the “River of the West” and located “San Roque.” Meares decided that no river entrance or channel existed among the shoals at the base of “San Roque.” He changed the name of “San Roque” to “Cape Disappointment”.

As a side note: Other explorers came this way and found the river but only as far as they could determine it from the west. We do know that in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition found their way to what they thought was the mouth of the Columbia River, after an arduous 2,000-plus mile journey west from Missouri. Clark exulted in his journal, “Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian, this great Pacific Octean which we been So long anxious to See. And the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I suppose) may be heard distinctly.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t really the ocean. Clark had been fooled by the breadth of the lower Columbia’s estuary. The expedition still had eight days of paddling ahead before they finally landed on the north shore and climbed Cape Disappointment to see the ocean itself. Carrying out President Jefferson’s orders to establish the USA’s claim to the Oregon Country, Lewis planted the expedition’s largest American flag on the spot. President Thomas Jefferson had commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore, to map this newly acquired territory, to find “the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.” [*History*]

There were expectations and hopes as well as disappointments and discouragements. The icing on the cake were those wonderful victories. 

When you’re living in a broken world, sometimes believing and wanting the right things means you’ll be disappointed. Jeremy Pierre *

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Disappointment takes so many forms and, with our world in such a state as it is today, disappointments seem abundant…maybe no more than in the past, but it sure seems that way! They show up as a circumstance that did not turn out the way we had hoped, or we did not get a certain job, or a health treatment did not work as we had thought it would. Disappointment can come when people do not follow through on a promise or they do not meet the expectations that we place on them. It can come via an action or some other mode. Failing to achieve, failing to be, just a failure can lead to disappointment. Disappointment can bring pain and sorrow to us as we accept the fact that we are disappointed by something or that we disappointed someone.

To live is to be disappointed. Jeremy Pierre *

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans 8:7

I think expectations are the cause for most disappointments; certainly not all. I am disappointed in myself often for things I think or things I do or say. I have allowed disappointment to dwell in me as I watch people decide not to wear a mask so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or choosing not to get vaccinated or boosted because of their beliefs. Beliefs I do not understand. I have asked the reason of some and they try to explain, but the answers usually make no sense to me. Some people would rather fight everything: the federal and local governments, health districts and the CDC, politicians, laws, even rulings of the courts, etc. And all seems to raise the bar for disheveled discourse.

I look at the Christian church as a whole to see animosity within its ranks, creating a fervor that further creates division within, which then spreads to with out or maybe the outside is showing up in the church. ??? Maybe some of both! ?? I have actually had two people in my life, who are dear to me, say that they do not desire to be a part of anything so divisively pointed (the church). These ways negatively impact the teachings of Jesus, especially regarding ‘loving one another.’ They see ‘the evangelical church’ (as we hear all Christian churches described more often than not these days) as a group of people who will not use masks or take the vaccines, plus they vote for certain people who stand as angry, willing to be divisive, and seemingly determined to undermine this country’s democracy. “The evangelical church” is seen less and less as perveyor of God’s Truth, or even acting very Christlike. Not all in the church are those people, but for many looking in from the outside, that is what it now may look like. Being a part of the body of Christ makes me realize why there are so many leaving the church today. And what do they see when they look at me? I hope a different picture than this widespread current view.

I am rather naive, I will admit. I began to see a bit of these behaviors back in 2016 in a few people, but I just wrote it off to a fleeting moment. Yet, during these last two years with COVID-19 and the three years prior, I see, more and more now, behaviors amongst many I call sisters and brothers in Christ, people whom I love, have loved, yet am not liking real well right now, are giving me reason to shy away. They look and act so much like the world; not that I do not act in those manners. They have given me reason to PAUSE! Pause life to check my pulse and my heart for breathing in the life-giving air of Jesus. I cannot help but look over my shoulder and question my faith, what I believe or no longer believe, if these same people are who they seem to be, who they claim to be these days. Are they walking with Jesus? I have asked myself if He would walk down these same roads and I keep getting ‘No” for the answer. Lord Jesus, are You walking with me today? I pray so as I draw near to You. Thank You, thank You for drawing near to me.

In a previous post, I have written about being disappointed in another person in my life. He has been one who should have known better yet did not do right by some members of his family. He was given the opportunity to assist and guide a small group of family members as per their inheritance. Instead, he took the reins and ran in his own direction. After years of struggle, releasing what felt like a burden to the Lord, plus plenty of stress, two of us chose to take at least one rein into our own hands for a little while to try to make things far less filled with stress, as we aged. Yet we both would rather have not felt we needed to act on this matter ourselves, for ourselves. We would have like to have stayed in the family trust as it was originally meant for those of us in a certain generation. After we took care of the matter for ourselves, we gave that one rein back.

I pray for the whole family, especially for him, as all would desire, I am sure, that things go smoothly from here on out. Lord, please guide the hands and minds of the one leading. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

I look around my world, and must ask why so many people act so mean, or so obstinate, or are so angry with so much, or tout with pride before others as if all the world is only watching them. I am sad…disgusted. I just expect better, expect more. And that is the problem: my EXPECTATIONS!

When I expect something, it is my opinion, my mindset of how something should be or will be done. It is based on my perception, but, in most cases, involves others to bring it to pass. Thus, when that someone does not do what I expect, I am disappointed. I have judged and that is not His way either.

Forgive me, Lord.

Disappointment often calls me to grieve the circumstance, grieve the situation, grieve the person. Lamenting, an expression of sorrow or grief, allows me to release the heartache or stress or turbulence I feel. It allows me to call out to God in my sadness, my sorrow. It is letting go.

I ask You, Lord, for Your forgiveness for my ways, for my stubbornness, for my need to be in control. I am sorry, Father. I desire peace in my relationships and calm in the ways of business and respect between each other as well as between all. Yet, these things cannot and do not always happen, at least in my timeline. Lift me to You, Lord, that I may be more peaceable, more patient and calm, plus filled with respect for others and even with myself. In Your Precious Son’s Name. Amen.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.” Zechariah 8:16-17

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

So…rather than be disappointed, I will lift my face, my mind, my heart to the One Who is in control. He never changes but desires that I do.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
Psalm 62:8

God tells me again and again:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:23-25

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5

AMEN. Jesus, You have overcome this world. Trusting in You is the answer to all my concerns.

Expressing our disappointments to God is the opposite of harboring them in our souls. Jeremy Pierre *

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
Psalm 62:5

What would You have me to do or to be, LORD? I ask because I want to know. I want to be in Your will, to walk quietly, and to be surrounded by Your peace, Abba Father.

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Father God, thank You for hearing my cry. I thank You for going before me as I release my friends, this man, the many others in the church…to You, to Your unselfish ways, to Your righteousness, into Your grace I lay all at Your feet. Teach me to pray rightly, whether I pray for people or circumstances or both. Open my eyes and my heart that I will accept Your outcome…Thy will be done. Father God, You are worthy and mighty. May I be reminded of those ways each and every day, especially in those moments where I begin to place expectations. It is not about me nor about a person nor a circumstance. Show me the path which leads to hope. It is all about You! My Hope and My Redeemer. I praise Your Name and lift this prayer to You in the Power of Your Son’s Holy Name. Amen.

Photo of Cape Disappointment: by weathercrazy82 @ Weather Underground (link no longer active); “disappointment” added via Canva by me

[*History*] of Cape Disappointment:’ Oregon.com

Map #1 from National Park Maps

*”” from TableTalk article – The Reality of Disappointment by Jeremy Pierre, May, 2018

Map #2 – 1849 USGS -Geological Survey: 1849 Map (section of original), Alexander Ross’s Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of the Columbia to illustrate Ross’s adventures. Author: Alexander Ross; Publication Date: 1849; Publisher: London, Smith, Elder and Co., 1849. Washington State University Archives #WSU478. — Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004

Map #3 @ Flickr

“No Expectations” Graphic: http://www.sharonstokes.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/AdobeStock_91720852.jpeg

Map #4 – Washington State University archives

Map #5 @ Wheelin-It

Charles Swindoll quote: https://www.heartlight.org/gallery/5767.html

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Sepia photo by Brendon William Cooper @ Flickr

“Yes and Amen” Graphic: http://esauproject.com

36 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. “OUCH!” This post hit home …how often do I disappoint others by what I say or do…if the shoe fits wear it is an old saying and today that shoe pinches. Thanks for making me sit up and take notice.

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  2. I do understand about disappointment. It is a fact of life because people, being human, are going to let us down. I’m most often disappointed with myself – because I’m the one I heap high expectations on!
    What a blessing to know Christ, who never disappoints, and always keeps His Word. I have to know His word in order to have something to stand on, but when I do stand on His scripture, I know it will never return void.
    Good for you on making a stand against the gossip in that store. Hopefully, it made the gossipers think!

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    1. Thank you, Jerralea, for encouraging my heart this morning. Yes, I have spent far too many years placing expectations upon myself and then being disappointed. I am still learning, but am so grateful for The Word to stand upon, for the powerful God Who guides us and walks near to us. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  3. Linda, this is such a great post on disappointment. I had never read the history lesson you began with. That was so very interesting. Disappointment is such a difficult house to live in. It’s cluttered and messy, yet sometimes we get so comfortable there. I love your use of Scripture! I recently had a “No Expectations, No Disappointments” saying on a letterboard in our home. It got a lot of attention! Christ-Centered Mama even used a photo of it on her Facebook. Sadly, it is SO the truth! Thanks for this reminder and for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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    1. Thank you, Patsy, for encouraging me this morning and for confirming to me the truths I shared here into my own life. The posts I write are always, so it seems, lessons for myself. So I am glad when they touch others as well. May your day be filled with His encouragement. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  4. I do struggle with this–letting my expectations get ahead of me and praying prescriptively to God, “My will be done.”
    Thanks for this thorough exhortation to live open handed and free.

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    1. “…open handed and free.” That is a great word picture, Michele. Thanks. I have to watch where my mind and heart take me for God has so much more when I allow Him to be in control.

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  5. This is convicting on so many levels, Linda. I am often disappointed, too, when I place expectations on others. There’s a fine line between hope and unrealistic expectations.

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  6. My dear Linda, I heard your heart. Disappointments are powerful to hit where it hurts. But when those disappointments turn into resentment we’re jumping into places we should not go very quickly. I’ve had to turn to the Lord for deep (may I repeat) deep resent that started simply as a disappointment.

    I met a 65-year-old woman today. She opened the door for me at the local cafe. I noticed she was wearing a shirt with “blessed” in the front. I asked her about it, and she told me that after what she’s been through she is blessed. I captured some of her story: buried four sons, buried her mother, sent her husband to Jamaica to prepare their retirement home, and while he was there, he was murdered.

    Ms. Blessed had every reason in the world to be disappointed, disillusioned, and yes, resented. She smiled at me as she walked away and said, “My God will provide.”

    We never know how our disappointments are going to be used for His glory. We are His walking witnesses.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging post.

    Your Chris

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    1. Oh,Chris, firstly, it is great to see you here!! Oh, what a testimony that woman has and how beautiful to be able to see the blessings through so very much. I thank you for sharing. loving you, ~ linda

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  7. Yet to live with no expectation is to live w/o hope. Thanking God you said your piece and I bet they listened! Good for you! Ps 62:5 is a fav: let my expectation only be in God.

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  8. I try so hard not to form expectations and keep an open mind but I do think disappointments are a fact of life and it’s how we deal with those disappointments that show what we are truly made of.

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  9. Expectations… Just when we think we have let go of them we become disappointed or hurt by another hidden unmet one we didn’t even realize was lurking there!
    Focusing on God! 😉
    Bless you Linda,
    Jennifer

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  10. Definitely what I needed to hear after my disappointment with not being able to take the trip that I was hoping for! Thank you for a great post and reminder to turn to Jesus!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!!!

    Blessings,

    Amy

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  11. Thank you so much for this, Linda. Praying those prayers with you. Recognize so much you have shared here as being present in my own heart. Much needed conviction and cleansing with the Word. Thankful to God for you.

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    1. The more , the better I know God, will draw lines of ‘Expectations’ for God for they will be based on His Word, on Holy Spirit teachings. And God will never disappoint. Thank you so much, Anna for sharing this song. I have never heard it either and love God’s workings in our moments with Him, drawing us closer.

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  12. I’ve never heard of Cape Disappointment, Linda. Thanks for sharing! I’m sad to hear of the family member who broke trust. Power does strange things to people. I’m glad you and your other family member made a peaceful parting which frees you from stress. I pray it goes well for everyone affected. Yes, and amen to your prayer.

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  13. Linda, you have brought a very thought provoking post. I am so sorry for the disappointment you have experienced with your family member. I pray as you release the disappointment to the Lord, the Lord will move as He sees fit to bring resolution. I am so grateful that as I release my disappointments to the Lord, I discover time and time again, He will never disappoint me. He is faithful and just in all His ways.

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  14. Awww, Linda. How many times my expectations of others have led to disappointment. Goodness, even my expectations of God have, at times, left me disappointed. When I yield myself and my desires to the Lord only, then I won’t have to deal with disappointment. Much easier said than done. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

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    1. Yes…it’s a hard one. I too have placed expectations on God. Surrendering and walking in obedience are tough but way better than expecting God to fit my mold. Glad you came by today. You encourage me, Jeanne. Loving you, ~ l

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  15. The disappointments because of unhealthy expectations can be like the little foxes to the vine – especially in relationships – and, that, my friend, has been a lifelong journey. Praying that neither of us lose faith in God working in those around us!

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  16. Love how you unpacked disappointment starting with a bit of history in the introduction. I agree with you, many times disappointment rides in on the coattails of unmet expectations. I’m so sorry for your family members’s disappointing actions over the inheritance issues. It’s sad, but family members and close friends and other believers often disappoint us. I’m thankful God never does and for the healing forgiveness brings to the situation-when others disappoint me, I disappoint them, or I’m disappointed in myself.

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