Tucked away in an article by Sammy Rhodes on a different topic, I found a phrase that has stuck with me for quite some time now. It’s one worth expounding on:
“God loves us enough to disappoint us.”
At first reading, that may seem a bit baffling. After all, John 3:16 doesn’t say, “For God so loved the world, He disappointed us.” What does this phrase really mean? The more I thought about it, the more it seemed not only right, but God-glorifying.
I wake up on Thursday morning. The world, from my spouse to family to Facebook friends, continues on as usual. And yet, my Thursday is spent uniquely compared to many others before it. I stare at the laptop screen and begin to sort through my newly-created bookmark folder: “Jobs.” Inside the folder are dozens of links to ministry positions. It’s a mixed bag of postings from church staffing sites, networks, seminary job boards, and more. Some down south, some out west, some right down the street. I sort through qualifications, questioning my sufficiency, figuring out how and where I want to sacrifice. I examine church websites carefully. I look up cities, stretching my brain to wonder if we could actually live there. I check the job board I checked 24 hours before, and there’s only one new posting, for a position I couldn’t do.
I refresh Facebook. A friend has announced that he has gotten a job offer. I am supposed to be happy for him, but I am not.
I go to a lunch appointment. A friend asks me what’s next, a question I’ve already answered three times earlier in the week. All I can say with confidence to him is, “I don’t know.”
As I’m leaving lunch, I get an e-mail. We are in the tough situation of saying no to many people like you who no doubt have a lot to offer.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
I have been disappointed by how my job search in ministry has gone thus far. And that disappointment is perhaps one of God’s greatest blessings to me in this entire process.
God loves us enough to disappoint us. What I mean is, God often wants to give us something greater than we can see. He often wants to teach us through our trials, instead of making our life trial-free. He wants to bring us to the end of ourselves, so that we will stop trying to earn our righteousness. He wants to undo us, that He might bind us together.