Disappointment comes from an old French word that means to lose one’s position. And isn’t that what disappointment really is? We lose those things to which we feel appointed. If we lose our house, possessions or health, we have lost the kind of life that we thought had been appointed to us. If we lose friends or jobs, we are dis-appointed from friendships and careers that had once been appointed to us. Losses often feel like demotions.
Moving to Alaska was obviously somewhat exciting, in both good and bad ways.
My husband was certainly realizing a dream to live on the last frontier. But for me, the move represented a real disappointment. I loved my church, my friends, and the ministry I was involved in. I still struggle with forgiving my husband’s former employer for their casual uprooting and then casting off of such a fine man as mine. But as I contemplated the word, disappointment, I came to realize that while we often suffer from these demotions or losses, nothing can interfere with our real appointment as God’s elect.
One meaning of the word, appoint, is to assign or adopt.
If you are a believer then you have been adopted into God’s family. This is an eternal appointment. No one can take it away from you. This is a job which you can quit if you like, but from which no one can fire you. This appointment comes complete with a destiny and a purpose for your life. I often think of Samson killing the Philistines despite his chains and blindness. God help us to accept and live a life worthy of our appointment as His sons and daughters so that when we fulfill our purposes, it is in victory. Such disappointment Samson must have felt, in himself and in his choices. Yet God reappointed him to victory even while he was in chains.
The disappointment of Job comes to my mind as well. Such bitter and heartrending loss he suffered. But God reappointed Job to a life bigger than his old one. Do I think that he ever fully recovered from his losses? Yes and no. I imagine that Job was a quite different father after his humbling experience in God’s presence. And in eternity, even his lost children were reappointed to him after his death. Loss is temporary but God’s life in us lasts forever.
Another definition of appoint is to decide or determine a time and a place. Jesus says to His disciples at the Last Supper in Luke 22:29:
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.
This is good news for anyone who is suffering displacement.
Here in Anchorage and Eagle River, many are still displaced from the earthquake’s damage. The aftershocks have only added to that loss as houses continue to shimmy off their foundations. Spring will bring softened ground and more shifting. It will also reveal more damages covered by ice and snow. Everyone here is bracing for disappointment.
But what does it mean that we are appointed a kingdom? The kingdom is in our midst, Jesus tells us, but of what does that kingdom consist? Nothing less than the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We are citizens of heaven, a kingdom we carry in our spirits and a glorious one to which we are headed. Heaven starts now, on the inside of our lives, manifesting as grace spread to all those with whom we come in contact.
If you are suffering from disappointment, stop reviewing the life you thought had been appointed to you.
Ask instead to what fresh calling is God appointing you? New friends, new ministries, or perhaps new territory over which to keep watch; God is relentless when it comes to our appointments. He will not let anything stand in the way of our growing into a complete knowledge of Him and into a full relationship with Him.
For myself, I find that God always has a reappointment waiting for me. I am sequestered in a lovely home without a car. At first, I was a bit alarmed. I am used to freedom. But now I find that the labor over my book is coming to an end and God is helping me to birth what was once just a mere idea. I couldn’t do it without the dedicated solitude I have enjoyed and wrestled with. I miss my friends in Wisconsin. I miss the prospect of my garden which fed so many.
But I have built-in protection against disappointment. I may grieve my losses and regret my choices, but I relinquish my claim to my own appointments. God alone is my divine employer, making and breaking my appointments as He sees fit. Seven moves in as many years seem like a lot of reappointments to me, but His purposes have become evident in each one.
So if you are in the throes of bitter disappointment, take heart.
It may be that God is clearing the path for a glorious new appointed destiny, or perhaps He is reappointing your circumstances for reasons yet to be determined.
Remember this, however. God appoints unto you a kingdom. Your life is to be found in Him and His kingdom where you must lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Whatever your disappointment, a far greater destiny lay ahead of you. In the meantime, look for your new appointments. They are just around the corner.
If you are a woman, you need to read Vindicating the Vixens. It will give you a whole new perspective of women in the Bible.