Word of the Month

Disappointed

September 2013

On the same day the women came and found the empty tomb and brought the angel’s message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the disciples, two of the disciples made their way to a village that was about a two-hour walk from Jerusalem. They too had heard the tidings of the women but were just as incapable of processing them as the rest of the disciples assembled in Jerusalem, who had dismissed the message of the resurrection as idle tales. Thus there was only one topic of discussion for the two travellers: their boundless disappointment at that which had transpired.

It can happen that we too are bitterly disappointed. Perhaps our expectations have not been fulfilled. Perhaps things have turned out exactly opposite to what we had hoped. Maybe we have been disappointed by the Apostle, the Priest, the members, and even those who are very close to us. Perhaps we have even been disappointed by God and we just do not understand Him anymore. Even the congregation can become strange to us. We no longer understand anything anymore. Everything has turned out differently than we had expected. Everything seems meaningless and in vain. All we feel is inner emptiness.

No one is exempt from experiencing such bitter disappointment. As with all unavoidable adversities and negative circumstances the decisive question is: “How do I deal with this?” The most obvious solution often is to run away and leave the congregation. In fact, some are so disappointed that they turn away from God altogether. But this does nothing to alleviate or overcome the disappointment—on the contrary, often it keeps eating away within us and hovers over us like a dark shadow for years, perhaps even a lifetime.

There was help for the disciples of Emmaus because they asked the Lord: “Abide with us!” The Lord fulfilled their plea, sat down at the table with them, and ate with them—and everything was fine.

The Lord can lead us out of the greatest, bitterest disappointments and once again help us to find joy—as long as we do not turn our backs on Him. Rather let us harbour the wish: “Lord, abide with me. Do not leave me! I do not want to lose You. I may not understand You anymore, I may be disappointed by You, but please help me. I want to stay with You!”

If this desire and longing for unity with Christ, for fellowship with Him, is uppermost in our hearts , the Lord can and will always help us.

Whenever I no longer understand the world, not even God, when the exact opposite of my hopes and expectations comes to pass, I think about the Lord Jesus and how it would be if He were now to come and ask me: “Do you still love Me?” Then I would say to Him: “Lord, I may not understand You anymore at the moment, but one thing is certain: I love You with all my heart!” Then I know that He will help me. And then everything will be fine.                                                                             

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)

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