When Prom is Canceled
Defeating Disappointment in Light of the Coronavirus
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many students are experiencing disappointment: sports seasons finished just shy of a team record; proms have been canceled; graduation ceremonies may not even happen. All of these circumstances share the same rotten root – disappointment.
Disappointment is a quiet emotion, but dangerous. Disappointment is quiet because it is an inward conversation with yourself, yet dangerous because if gone unamended, will leave the person unsatisfied with their current life circumstances. When unsatisfied, the person becomes bitter, which leads to hopelessness. Disappointment comes in many forms and takes its toll on people in many different ways.
We become disappointed when something we look forward to, something we value, or something we desire is taken from us. None of us are immune to this emotion. Disappointment finds its roots in lost opportunities and unmet expectations.
What does God’s Word say about disappointment? What hope can be found to help us combat the feelings of disappointment? Can we be satisfied regardless of what hand we’ve been dealt?
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (ESV) tells us: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” This passage tells us one important truth – Grief is real. Though it is not exactly the same as disappointment, the argument is the same. You have hoped for things, practiced for events, studied for tests, planned parties, but have been met with loss. Our text tells us two truths I want to share with you to help you in a season of disappointment.
First, do not be uniformed. To combat disappointment, you have to be informed with truth. What truth does God’s Word want you to know? According to the context of our passage it is that Jesus rose from the dead and is in control. Psalm 119:68 teaches us that: “You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.” Because what God does is good, we can trust him. For you to fight disappointment, you need to know God is on the throne today. What happens today, and in the days to come are all in the hands of our King.
Second, you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. Disappointment becomes dangerous when what is lost or taken is what we considered to be our source of happiness. Our text teaches us that disappointment is real, grief is real, your emotions are real, but you are able to experience disappointment in a different way than others. Psalm 84:11 gives us great hope when it says: “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” In Christ, you can experience disappointment knowing that he doesn’t withhold any good thing from you. He cares about your life more than you do.
Where are you today? How are you disappointed? What are things you can do right now to combat the suffocating nature of disappointment?
Chances are, you are either disappointed now or will be in the near future. Inform yourself with truth, grieve unmet expectations with hope, and invest in those around you. This is a season with rare opportunity to build your relationships with Christ, and those closest to you without much interruption. Fight disappointment by trusting that this season is a good gift from a good God.