Turning Our Disappointments Into God-s Appointments
August 30 2010 by D.E. Parkerson

Deep down in nearly every life there are disappointments of one kind or another. If you have not ever had a huge disappointment, the time will come when it will happen. No one is immune to disappointments — literally no one.

Even the most successful among us have dreams that are never realized, and things for which we hope that never come true. What do you do when you are confronted with rejection or failure, when a door you wanted to enter is closed in your face? Will you let it totally defeat you? Or will you find the strength to keep on going?

Handling disappointments is not easy. Even so, if we do not learn how to do that, eventually every single day will become a hill almost too high to climb. You have had some disappointments, haven’t you? Of course you have. We all have.

Charles L. Allen, in All Things Are Possible through Prayer, said, “The best thing I have heard about disappointment is this: ‘I have learned to turn disappointments into His (God’s) appointments.’”

That doesn’t mean that in the face of tragedy we should piously fold our hands and say, “It is the will of God, so I must grin and bear it.” It is possible that your disappointment is the will of God. If so, God could be trying to get your attention.

The apostle Paul had numerous disappointments. There were times he might have thrown up his hands in total defeat. Instead, he said, “ ... having done all to stand” (Eph. 6:13). Notice that he did not say, “And having done all, I decided to throw my hands up and quit.” He decided to “stand!

God will never lead those who trust Him to a dead end. He may change our direction, and He often does, but there will always be an open road before us. That newly opened road will always be in the center of His will for our lives.

For example, a boy who lived in Decatur, Ill., several years ago was deeply interested in photography. He carefully saved his money to buy a certain book and happily he ordered it. The publisher, however, made a mistake in his order and sent him a book on ventriloquism. The boy was not interested in ventriloquism. In fact, he did not even know what it was.

He had no idea he could send the book back. Besides, he probably did not have the money for the postage. He could have put the book aside and nursed his disappointment. Instead, he began reading it and he became interested. He learned to throw his voice and eventually got a wooden dummy which he named Charlie McCarthy. Out of a huge disappointment Edgar Bergen built a successful career.

Paul dreamed of one day going to Spain. Instead, he landed in a Roman prison. He might have cried out against God or folded his hands in despair. Instead, while in prison, he wrote some of his very finest epistles to the early churches. Through the centuries that have followed, these epistles have spoken God’s Word to Christians.

Are there disappointments in your life? You don’t have to let them defeat you. Why not let God turn your disappointment into His appointment?

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University [B.A.], Southeastern Seminary [M. Div. and Th.M.], and Campbell University [D.D.]. He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served nine North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)  
8/30/2010 4:14:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 1 comments

Dr. James Willingham
Disappointments are, indeed, God's appointments. I heartily approve of Dr Charles Allen's view and of Del's use of it to help those who struggle with such difficulties. Why? Because I have myself met so many of them in my lifetime. Such disappointments begin early in some cases; they did in mine. A broken home, the loss of both parents due to divorce, living on a farm and having to work like an adult sun up to sun set from age 4 until age 14, hardships, sufferings, and poverty a part and parcel of that life. Then in the teenage years to be subjected to a major move from farm to a large city with the disruption that involved....and more much more in the years to follow. One of the things I have found was that those experiences were often the best preparation for helping people with their problems, when they came to me for counseling. Some how or other, that wide variety of experiences enabled me to have insights that proved helpful to church members in need of guidance in perplexing situations. One develops a real sense of compassion from suffering; you learn to care about how another person feels and to surmise what might be of help to that individual. It is a ministry empowerment that proves a blessing and help to needy people in life, a grace, special and common, that God often seeks to provide to the suffering and perplexed. It makes our own situations to serve a higher purpose. And that is what we are about, I trust. In any case, I would rather be known for helping rather than hurting others. Disappointments also serve to help us understand the Bible a little better, and that is an appointment I can and do appreciate.
8/30/2010 11:18:05 PM