Genesis 1:31 (erv)
One of my favorite authors, Lysa TerKeurst, wrote a book called “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way“, and it made a huge impact on my life. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough. I feel like I spend most of my life wondering why things are the way they are; why they’re so difficult and challenging.
Lysa does an incredible job explaining the answer to that question, and it all boils down to just one simple answer: because it’s not supposed to be this way. In today’s devotional, I want to share a section of the Bible Reading Plan that she wrote to go along with her book. The topic from today’s writing is all about disappointment, and I think it’s something that we all face more than we’d like to admit.
Below, you’ll find the Day 2 Reading Plan from Lysa TerKeurst’s It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: A 5 Day-Challenge in the Bible App.
“Created for Perfection
It’s that feeling things should be better than they are. People should be better than they are. Circumstances should be better than they are. Finances should be better than they are. Relationships should be better than they are.
And you know what? You’re right. Everything should be better than it is. It’s no wonder that I’m exhausted and that you are too.
Stay with me here, and let me unpack something that Satan has viciously fought to keep us from knowing.
The disappointment that is exhausting and frustrating you? It holds the potential for so much good. But we’ll only see it as good if we trust the heart of the Giver.
You see, disappointment can be a gift from God that feels nothing like a gift at all. It’s unexpectedly sharp, and the Giver can seem almost cruel as we watch someone unwrap it. Their fingers will bleed. They will feel tricked and so very tempted to stop trusting that anything good can be found within. They will most certainly question the One who allowed it to come their way.
But disappointment isn’t proof that God is withholding good things from us. Sometimes it’s His way of leading us Home. But to see this and properly understand what’s really going on, we must take a step back and view it in the context of God’s epic love story. The one in which He rescues and reconciles humanity to Himself.
A great place to start is actually at the very beginning.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that the human heart was created in the perfection of the garden of Eden. Can you imagine what the world looked like when God first created it? When He said it was all good. Very good. And it was all perfect.
Perfection’s symphony filled the atmosphere. Everything ebbed and flowed in complete harmony. There was nothing that didn’t look right or feel right. It was beautiful and peaceful and fulfilling. There was perfect peace in relationships.
Adam and Eve were so beautifully connected to each other, and they lived in the perfect presence of God. It was paradise with unique intimacy where God would interact in direct relationship with Adam and Eve. There was perfect provision and perfect fulfillment of their purpose. There was no sadness or confusion or injustice. There was no disease or divorce or depression or death. There were no misaligned motives, no manipulations, no malicious intentions.
It was everything you could ever dream up and then so much more than that.
Yes, the human heart was created in the context of the perfection of the garden of Eden. But we don’t live there now.
And the pain and heartbreak surrounding us in this moment leave us epically disappointed.
But we aren’t talking about it.
We either don’t feel permission to do so or we just don’t know how to process our disappointments.
And if we don’t open up a way to process our disappointments, we’ll be tempted to let Satan rewrite God’s love story as a negative narrative, leaving us more than slightly suspicious of our Creator.
But oh, sweet friend… rest assured, our God loves us and is with us, even in this. He really does have everything worked out. And His plans are good even when circumstances don’t feel good.”
From Lysa’s 5-Day Challenge: What things in your life feel like they should be better than they are? Write out a list and assess them honestly. How are these disappointments or unmet expectations affecting you?
For God’s peace and comfort as you assess your disappointments and surrender them to Him.