When Things Don’t Go My Way


Recently, I have found myself in a few situations that have been slightly more than disappointing.  In the grand scheme of life, they aren’t a huge deal, but in my little world, they are a pretty big deal.  To me.

I have found myself handling these disappointments no different than my children handle theirs at times.  Pouting.  Arguing.  Angry.  When my boys ask me for something and receive an undesirable response, the response from them that frustrates me the most is arguing or pouting. For them pouting is very rare.  They are boys.  Pouting is not cool.  I’m not a boy, and pouting is my ‘I hate not getting my way’ expression of choice.  Thankfully, God placed me among 4 souls who don’t tolerate pouting well, and I have to come out of it quicker than I prefer.

When my boys don’t get their way, I go into explanations of why it is for their own good.  I try my best to show them my perspective.  It doesn’t always work.  They are still disappointed.

In my spiritual walk, I find myself pouting far too easily when God doesn’t give me the answer I want most.  This is the case especially after periods of spiritual triumphs.  I’ve experienced these times with God that have put me on a spiritual high.  Then I come off of it and have a hard time accepting the answers that don’t bring on the highs again.

Our family’s favorite movie currently is Facing the Giants.  The movie is so full of inspiration and encouragement.  But my boys’ favorite line is “We praise Him when we win and we praise Him when we lose.”  I need to remember this in my daily walk.  Sometimes He chooses for me to win and sometimes He chooses for me to lose.  His love for me never wavered.  His acceptance of me never changed.

I want my response to be one of praise in the good and the bad.

In America we struggle with our joy coming from what happens in our daily life.  He never intended for our joy to come from our daily circumstances.  Our joy is found only in Him. Maybe when I learn to praise Him when I win and praise Him when I lose, I will finally learn this lesson once and for all.

The liturgical guide at church last week read this “Selah-musical interlude- When there is a “selah,” a musical interlude in a song, think of it as a “breath,” or a pause.  This is a time to reflect on what has been sung, to consider what is to be sung, and to internally listen and respond to the sweetness of the Lord.”

My prayer this week is to have more “selah” like experiences in my day, particularly after periods of spiritual triumphs and highs.  I want to pause in my day and breathe.  I want to reflect on what the Lord has done in the moments that made up my day.  I want to consider what He might do.  I want to internally listen and respond to the sweetness of the Lord.

Sometimes we get our way.  Sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes we experience spiritual triumphs and highs.  Sometimes we experience deep disappointment and pain.  My prayer is that my response to God doesn’t follow the path of the circumstances I find myself in.  Rather, I pray my response is one of praise no matter what He brings or allows my way.

As I watch one of my boys struggle through something very difficult right now, I observe his responses and his frustrations.  I answer him so confidently, yet I know how he feels.  When you are in it, it is hard to see the way an outsider sees.  He questioned the Lord’s plans for him, so last night we looked up a well-known verse.  Sometimes these well-known verses become just a little too familiar to us.  Maybe we can read it and practice a little “selah” experience.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Whether we are experiencing a high or a low, we can praise Him.  We can choose to praise Him when we win.  And we can praise Him when we lose.  We can praise Him in the highs and praise Him in the lows.  We can practice pausing – like a selah- and reflect on our experiences and our moments and ponder what is to come.  All the while listening and responding to His goodness.

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