There is nothing quite like the sting of repeated disappointment.
The silent suffering of watching the thing you hope for become increasingly blurry by the day.
Most of us have stared down the barrel of disappointment at one point or another as we’ve encountered broken dreams, relational heartbreak, unwanted diagnoses or unanswered prayers.
How do we thank God for His provision when the weight of unmet expectations steals our breath away? How can we trust that God is working in our waiting when we cannot find nor feel Him in the midst of it?
Christian songwriters Mason and Cardwell once penned these powerful words to the weary one in the waiting, “when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
This practice of trusting God’s heart in uncertainty is clearly seen in the life of King David. Throughout the Psalms, we read the cries of a broken man who walked a brutal reality of rejection, evil pursuit, tragedy and consequences of his sin. Yet, in the midst of his unmet expectations, we see David routinely put a discipline into practice that allowed Him to remember God’s heart–even when he couldn’t see God’s hand.
When David couldn’t perceive God’s provision in his present, he recalled God’s faithfulness in his past. When he couldn’t see the way forward, he looked backward. This practice fueled his trust as he remembered the God who fought his every battle, was present in every cave, and made a way through every close call.
At one point in his life, David was running from the most powerful leader in Israel, King Saul, who repeatedly sent armies to chase David down and kill him. In his despair, David called these truths to mind in Psalm 59:16:
“But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.” (ESV)
“For you have been.”
These four words have the power to lift the weight of our unmet expectations as we recount story after story of God’s comfort, nearness, protection and rescue in our own lives. Our recollection of who He has been tethers our hearts to the faithful God who is working behind the scenes in the unseen. His purposes are far beyond our imaginations. But one thing is certain–we can trust that His heart is kind, loving and good toward us.
So friend, I challenge you to reflect on these questions today:
1. Who has He been to you?
2. How has He weaved goodness, even into the most painful parts of your story?
3. Where have you seen His provision and protection?
As we think back on who He has been to us, may we lay down our questions at the feet of the One who not only sees beginning to end, but will walk alongside us in every high and low. When we cannot see His hand, let us remember to trust His heart.