I have found myself disappointed a lot lately.
Disappointed with the relaxed response some have taken to the warnings and sincere requests from infectious disease experts to not travel and to avoid groups and family gatherings to help curb COVID-19. I am disappointed because of the results of this relaxed response: a surge in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths that rise beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Disappointed by those who over promise and under deliver. This is a pretty accepted practice today and it has almost become the outcome we should expect. People agree to do what’s asked of them, then make excuses when they can’t deliver what they agreed to, as if it’s no big deal.
Disappointed and heartbroken over the events of January 6 at our country’s capitol, watching the “people’s house” being breached and ransacked by a huge, angry mob. When I realized that not all of those who participated in the insurrection were extremists, but just misguided, regular people who got wrapped up in the rhetoric, I was deeply saddened.
And, I have been disappointed in my disappointment over all of this.
But why should I expect anything different? We are all human so all of us have shortcomings and make poor decisions at times, right? It’s our nature, we are described as sheep in the Bible who tend to wander off and do our own misguided thing when we evade the shepherd, right? The reality is that these are just empty excuses.
Then, I wondered, if my heart aches over these disappointing situations, how does God’s heart feel? We are His creation. Does our cavalier behavior hurt God after all He has done for us? I believe it saddens God deeply.
I was reading Psalm 73 recently in which the Psalmist talks about the behavior of the arrogant.
“They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore, pride is their necklace, they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice, in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.” (Ps. 73:5-9).
Then comes the wonderful reminder, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered…Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you take me into glory…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps. 73:21, 23-24, 26). To that I say. “Amen.”
Yes, I believe that God is deeply saddened when we take His love and all He has blessed us with for granted. I think it grieves Him when we treat the lives He has given us, and the lives of others, carelessly. My prayer is that He will forgive us, forgive me, when we allow selfishness to rule our life instead of holiness. And even as I say that, I know He will forgive us, if we only ask.