For forty days and forty nights, he fasted and became very hungry. During that time, the devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread. But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:2-4
Tears swam in my little man's eyes when I asked him what was wrong. I went in to read him a bedtime story, unaware he was upset, but the disappointment was all over his little face.
"I left my goody bag at the party," he choked out as a tear escaped his left eye.
We had come home from an evening birthday party where a pinata was the main attraction. Apparently, without a goody bag.
He had meticulously picked through the scattered pile of goodies filling his purple party bag with lollipops. They are his favorite. But he must have left the bag by accident and disappointment over not having the treasures he had worked so hard for and been so excited about leaked out of him.
Unwillingly, my heart wrenched, and tears started streaming out of my eyes as well. I know this kind of disappointment. My own week had been filled with it. First, a broken-down car rendering me stuck at home all week the first week of my kid's summer program. I had been looking forward to picking a place to ride my bike in town after dropping them off, but instead, my husband took them, and I stayed home. Second a postponed camping trip due to a running behind project. Then, my husband's truck issued a warning light as well. Our previously planned Sunday big mountain bike ride was canceled too. It felt like everything I had been looking forward to this week got nixed. So when I went to brush the tears now rolling one after the other down his chubby cheeks, I realized I was feeling the same way.
I was so disappointed. But not only tears leaked out of me. Anger had been boiling over too. Frustration because I was tired of everything breaking all the time. Tired of the worry and changed financial plans that go with broken things that need fixing. Mad because I had followed God into this new, not so financially secure job just recently, and He was allowing things to break rather than blessing me for my obedience. What was up with that?
But as I looked straight into my boy's baby blues, promising him that I would get his goody bag, or if not, then buy him a bag of lollipops from the store, I felt the Spirit whisper - "This is how I feel for you. I see your disappointment. I know you are angry. Give it to me, and I will replace it with something better. I love you well"
Undone now, I wrapped my arms around my little boy, and we both let love be the balm to our disappointed hearts. My God saw through my disappointment, anger, and fears and loved me anyway.
I needed that reminder just then. The enemy had been tempting me to believe something else.
The hard truth about life in the broken world is that things break. We do not always get our way, and things are not easy. In fact, they can be very hard. Of course, the Enemy would like to use things that disappoint us as evidence that God must not be good or does not love us very well. But this is not the truth. God has replaced brokenness with a goody bag far better than easy - the indwelling of His love. Love that overcomes.
Jesus also endured hardships, disappointments, and testing as he walked the earth. Ravenous after forty days of fasting in the wilderness, the Enemy tempted him to distrust God's care of Him. But He remained faithful to God's greater plan telling the Enemy that man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4). He knew that God would provide so much more than bread through his surrendered life, even though it would come with troubles and disappointments. He kept His eyes on the bigger plan knowing that God was working all things out for good because God is love and always for our good. The same is true for us.
I am not sure what disappointments you are facing today, but I can assure you that God loves you, and that is better than anything. So let's refuse to let the Enemy steal our trust in God's goodness toward us over disappointments and broken things. God's love and plan to right everything is already proven by all the things He has done. And an unrelenting love that chases us down for our best is far better than lollipops, working cars, and bike rides any day.
Father, the brokenness and hardships we endure here can sometimes distract us from your greater plan and your goodness toward us. Help us to see the Enemy's schemes around these things and overcome them with your Truth. Help us lean into your love to grieve and soothe our broken hearts as we face the troubles of many kinds Jesus warned us about. Remind us how good you are, and let your love fill our cups. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Hi, I am Micah. I a wife, mom, and passionate follower of Jesus, trying to learn how to follow His ways. For all of my life I have been trying to measure up to the world's standards, but Jesus freed me from that a couple of years ago. Now I am trying to live Loved & Free by learning more about God, His Kingdom, and breaking up with the world's ways.
Will you join me on this journey towards freedom?