My husband has been gone for most of the last month, and my semi-grand plans to honor Lent with the kids were shoved under beds and into dusty corners. Oh, I could tell you all the things I have done. Things like making an extra trip or seven to the orthodontist and dentist to deal with teeth problems. Things like dealing with car issues. Things like taking kids to swim team, shooting team, and band practice. Things like meetings for this and that. And of course, writing, writing, and writing some more.
When our nights finally wind down between 9:30 and 10, I’m reading a bit from the gospels to the kids. And on the more stumbling along, tired nights, we are doing well to whisper prayers. Not the end of the world, I know. But Lent is full of bountiful offerings, and I’m disappointed I’ve only taken an anemic portion. I’m not so much disappointed in myself as that I didn’t get to do all I’d hoped.
Oh, I know there is as much grace in a busy season as in any other. But I don’t want any insider’s glimpse from our lives to give the impression that Jesus isn’t a priority. I want to balance my daily responsibilities with the kids’ interests and still have our relationship with Jesus come out as the biggest part of our lives.
The good news? There is grace in knowing that life is measured over many seasons, not just a selective one or two. It helps to see my priorities within that lens rather than just the last month. And within that, hope lies beyond the disappointment.
Sometimes disappointment looks like not getting to do things you hoped to do. But often disappointment sits like a sack of bricks dropped in your lap by someone else. This last year has held this kind of disappointment for our family as well, in large and small doses. And maybe it has for you and yours, too.
As we spend this Holy Week remembering the choices Jesus made to live His Father’s will – choices that spoke of His unfathomable love for you and me – let’s keep in mind one truth about disappointment that blazes more brilliantly this week than any other:
Behind great disappointment follows greater hope.
That disappointment you’re facing? God would only allow it if the hope waiting behind it was greater still.
“Your love has called me out, out of my sorrow, out of my broken places!
Hope has been renewed, ‘cause there on the cross, there on the cross
Love broke through.” ~ Ellie Holcomb, “Love Broke Through”
Love breaks through, and Hope gets the last word.