Change of Port: Handling Disappointments


Disappointments, but God...The cruise ship was scheduled to stop in two ports: one city (Nassau, Bahamas) and one beach (Coco Cay, Bahamas).

But the weather predicted for the second day would make the Coco Cay stop too dangerous, as passengers had to be tendered to shore, and the wind was expected to cause huge swells that could endanger the small boats. So the captain made the logical decision to stay the extra day in Nassau.

For most passengers, this was no big deal. There were plenty of things to do in Nassau or on the ship, and anyone who had scheduled a shore excursion with the cruise line would get a refund.

But anytime changes are made, some people are disappointed. Perhaps they’d planned to spend the day snorkeling, and this disrupted those plans. Perhaps they simply wanted to spend a quiet day on a quiet beach soaking up rays. Whatever the case, not everyone was satisfied with the changes.

My friend and I decided to make the best of the situation and go to Paradise Island (right?) to see Atlantis (the resort, not the lost city).

Sometimes the disappointment is much more significant: a job opportunity is lost, a family member goes astray, a business deal falls through, an illness gets worse instead of better.

How we handle disappointment says a lot about our character and can affect the rest of our lives.

Joseph had his share of mistreatment: his brothers turned on him and sold him into slavery, his owner’s wife falsely accused him, his owner had him put in jail, his fellow prisoner broke his promise and left him in prison. (Read the story in Genesis 37 and 39-50.) Yet he didn’t complain or become bitter. Instead, he made the best of each situation. In the end, when he was reunited with his father and brothers, he forgave his brothers and said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20, ESV).

Of course, not all disappointments are the result of malicious behavior by others. Some are simply due to circumstances beyond human control (like the weather on my cruise). Some are because God’s timing is different than ours. Whatever the cause, it’s never easy to face disappointments and handle them gracefully. However, we can remember Joseph’s example and “know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, HCSB).

After all, “But God…”