Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dealing with Disappointment

Exodus 17:1-6 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?" 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" 4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." 5 The LORD said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Last week, manBoy called on the first full day of running camp to say he had sprained his ankle. I could tell that he was mad at himself and disappointed. I did not hear from him again until the last day. I fretted all week that he was probably having a miserable time not being able to run at running camp. When we picked him up at the airport, his ankle was wrapped, and no he had not been able to run for the rest of the week. He, however, was not in a bad mood. He had still managed to have fun at running camp while he learned about running technique and injury care... He had dealt with his disappointment far better than I had.

Yesterday, manBoy learned that one of his Cross Country teammates has broken his femur. He will miss the entire Cross Country and Band Marching seasons during his senior year. In addition, this may affect his post graduation plans which include an institute of higher learning that requires excellent physical condition. (I'll let you figure that one out.)

As I consider the deep disappointment this young man must be facing, I now see the value in manBoy's experience. We need to live through these small disappointments so we know we can make it through the big ones. While I hope manBoy never has to face a life plan changing disappointment, odds are he will.

The above passage shows us that even when we are cranky about life not going the way we planned, God is with us. Thank heaven for that!

Loving God, help us know that you are with us in life's ups and downs. Amen.