Have you ever been disappointed in God?
Over the past few days I have found myself fighting this feeling because something that I prayed really hard for (and wasn’t even for me) didn’t happen. It was big, it was important, it was in line with scripture and the ramifications for it not happening the way I had hoped were devastating to the people I was praying for.
As I tried to process my confusion about God not intervening in this situation, I prayed: “God, it feels like I am Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt with the Egyptian army right on our heels and I just need the Red Sea to open up for your people and instead, the army overtakes us and drags us back to slavery.”
This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.
But then I thought, what if I’m not at the Red Sea portion of the story? What if I am more like Moses and Aaron asking Pharaoh to let the people go and he is refusing? What if things are getting worse before they get better?
I wonder if the shepherds who had angels visiting them promising “peace on earth,” had some of those same feelings of confusion after visiting the baby Jesus. Can you imagine how excited they must have been to be the first to worship the Savior of the world?
But not long after, evil Herod sent soldiers through their small village killing every baby boy under the age of two. These very shepherds probably lost sons, nephews, maybe even little brothers, or grandsons in that massacre. Their wives, sisters and mothers couldn’t even be comforted from this unspeakable trauma.
Where was the peace on earth that they were promised? Had God forgotten? Was God even paying attention? Was He trustworthy?
To the shepherds, this must have felt like the end of the world.
If the story had stopped right there, the shepherds would have had every reason to be disappointed in God.
Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story. God really did send His son to redeem humanity and bring peace on earth.
Sometimes what we think is the end of the story is really just the middle. Maybe God is calling us to keep having hope in Him, to keep praying, to keep moving forward toward the goals He has for us. Let’s you and I not get stuck in the middle of our story.