Another promotion cycle had come and gone and the news was the same as the year before…no. I had done all the right things, I had the right job, the right amount of community service and the right endorsements. I had finished my degree, which seemed to be the ‘big deal’ in those days, yet I could not seem to make it over the hurdle to the next stripe.
I remember telling my commanding officer, about a week prior to the release of the promotion list, that I did not believe it was in God’s timing for me to be selected for promotion that year. He looked at me with an odd expression and said, “how do you know?” I explained the Lord had impressed on me that it was not my time.
Was I disappointed, absolutely, was I in despair, no. What it did do was energized me to become a student of the promotion system. I knew I had to do well on the written test, that was a given, however, I needed to understand what the evaluation board was looking for and figure out if I could meet that criteria. I did and it paid off on the next 2 promotion cycles as I would eventually become an Air Force Chief Master Sargent.
The Lord used that time of disappointment to help grow me. It grew my knowledge of a critical area, the promotion system, and even more importantly, my understanding of His ways in my life. Perspective, is the glass half full or half empty? When something doesn’t work the way I though it was suppose to, I choose to look at the positive and see what the Lord wants me to learn. Is it easy, no, but it is always profitable. How about you?
by Os Hillman
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12
Life is filled with disappointments. Many of God’s greatest servants experienced deep disappointment in their journeys of faithfulness to God. Joseph, after spending years as a slave and in jail for crimes that he did not commit, revealed deep disappointment when he was forgotten another two years in prison. John the Baptist, when awaiting execution, doubted whether Jesus was, in fact, the Christ because he was sitting there awaiting his death. Elijah, losing all hope and despondent to the point of death, asked God to take his life in the desert; and Peter, who left his fishing business and invested three years of his life only to watch his Savior crucified, wondered whether the purpose of those three years could be justified.
When life doesn’t add up, it leaves the heart sick. When we have done all we know to do and the formula has not worked, it leaves us questioning. These are times that try the very souls of men. There is no human sense to be made of it. We are left with a choice: to cling or not to cling. There are times when holding on to our Master’s robe is all that we can do. It is all that He wants us to do.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not obtained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore,
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern-unseen before-
A path to higher destinies!
There is only one answer to life’s disappointments. Like the psalmist, we must “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Ps. 62:5-6).