Tag Archives: disappointment

Disappointment Discourages Devotion

This past Valentine’s day I had a bunch of valentine’s printed up for kids to give out. They doubled as invitations to a special service back at the church. I had it set up so that the visitor and the child who invited them would both get a prize. I had high hopes for this outreach attempt.

My wife and I bought 60 heart-shaped boxes of mixed chocolates from Sam’s Club in anticipation of at least 30 visitors. Statistically I could only expect 10 as you typically get a 1% response and I’d passed out 1000 invites… but faith and hope have to fit in there somewhere right?

Fast-forward to the end of our Valentine’s day service and we’d given away 10 boxes of chocolate. Five to visitors and five to the kids who brought them. I can’t say I was devastated… but I was defiantly disappointed. As we geek-types say, “FAIL!”.

The next morning during devotions I was journaling about the whole thing. I wrote up how hopeful I had been… and how stupid I felt wasting the church’s money buying way to much candy. Then God slapped me in the head. He does that.

I wrote down the thought that suddenly entered my head:

“When you’re disappointed, you forget to be thankful”.

He was right… I was so focused on what I had wanted to accomplish for the Kingdom I was totally overlooking what God had actually accomplished. Five children had experienced a church service for maybe the first time. I also remembered that one of the visitors had been accompanied by their entire family! A whole family had come to church because of a Valentine’s day card… and I had not once thought to give praise to God for any of this… because I had wanted to do more. Naturally I spent the rest of the devotion time in praise. One child is precious to God… five ain’t nothing to turn your nose up at in His Kingdom.

It’s easy to get disappointed in Children’s ministry. I’ve probably spent more time in the last 10 years being disappointed that any other feeling. Disappointed about attendance, volunteer commitment, pastoral support, storage, how many folks join the choir… on and on. My heart has been in the right place for most of the time: I just wanted to do more for God! If I had more resources, if I had more volunteers, if I had more support… how much more effective could this ministry be? But I’ve very recently realized that disappointment keeps me from being thankful for what I have and for how God is using it.

I still set goals. I still have high hopes… but from now on, no matter how things turn out… I will remember to be thankful and give praise to God. If I believe that he is in control and that he is good… I have to believe that he knew how things would turn out… and that he had some hand in the results. My disappointment tells God I’m not happy with his work. Well, not anymore.