After writing this third part in the series beginning with Disappointment and Deception, I felt uncomfortable posting it, until I realized that I have responded to my prodigal situation in almost every way this little booklet describes. So, dear readers, as you follow on here, whoever you are, rest assured that you are not alone, if you find yourself saying…’This is me!’…
There is HOPE, though, and I can’t wait to publish the fourth part of the series titled A Way Toward Healing and Freedom. Until then…
“When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.”-Psalm 56:9
In any disappointing or hurtful situation, we should first cry out to God. In the above verse we are assured that our enemies will turn back when we cry out to God for help. How comforting to know that deception cannot overtake us if we turn to God- for He is for us, not against us.
But how many times, in this vulnerable state of disappointment, do we respond in accordance to lies that we have believed?
Quoting from the booklet “When Disappointment Deceives” by Jeff Olson:
“Unknowingly, many of us have agreed with the lies we’ve been told about life, ourselves, and God. We hang on to them as if they are true. Once we accept a lie, that’s when it starts to control us.”
Jeff Olson points out many different ways that we process disappointment, choose the wrong response and accept the lies. To summarize:
Some may become withdrawn, hoping that others will not see them. Or, in an opposite way, become boastful or use a broad intellectual vocabulary to cover their hurt and make themselves appear as someone they are not in order to keep others from seeing what they presume are flaws in themselves.
By any chance do you see either one of these reactions in your prodigal? Unconfessed sin and guilt often times will cause a prodigal to hide from his parents by withdrawing from them.
On the other hand the shame and pain that the prodigal experience brings to parents may cause them to withdraw from friends and family.
Some respond to disappointments by holding back love and desires. Some may try and protect themselves from further hurt by closing up, and not letting anyone come close.
“For those of us who are deceived into believing that life is just one long series of letdowns, it seems that the only way to keep from being disappointed again is to limit our desires and take pleasure in very little.”
In all honesty I struggle with this one. Because of the pain and suffering I’ve gone through with one prodigal, I find myself pushing away my other children in fear of the same rejection. It isn’t at all fair to them. I consistently have to face that fear, realize it is a lie, and ask Jesus to take that burden from me.
TURNING TO FALSE COMFORTERS~
False comforters can be things like food or hobbies – things that are not inherently bad, but if we are running to them to get our mind off things we do not want to think about, or for the comfort we should be getting from the Holy Spirit, we will not receive the healing that we really need. That healing way deep down in our hearts can only come from God, so what we are actually doing when we turn to false comfort is delaying the process of healing.
Bitterness is another way of dealing with disappointment. Bitterness towards others for the hurt they have caused only brings grief to yourself and the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is the antidote, and as Jesus said, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Bitterness only causes division and strife…
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another , even as God for the Messiah’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
But people can also turn their bitterness towards God…
“If we think He doesn’t care about us, we blame Him for our disappointing circumstances, and then we resent Him for doing nothing about them.”
I’d like to say that I have never done this, but I have. I blamed God for what happened to our family…for the temptation that took hold of my prodigal, for not answering my prayers. I’m sorry to my Father, my Savior, for EVER feeling this way… His ways are not our ways, and our ways are not His ways. Isaiah 55:8
Humbling myself, I learned what little faith I had, what little trust I had, what little patience I had. What does Abba Father say that He is teaching us through our sufferings? To be more like Christ…to be patient …”But let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” James 1:4
He is the Potter. He knows exactly what this clay needs. He knows exactly how hot to make the kiln to fire the pot, when to put it in and when to take it out…so that it is a perfect work.
He knows the exact, precise detail to bring you to perfection. Do you believe this?
“Disappointment can eventually wear us down to the point where instead of staying bitter, we give up…At times, we can become so exhausted by disappointment that we just want to quit a marriage, a friendship, or a career… Even though we may never fall into a state of severe depression, many of us quietly resign ourselves to the fact that this is the way it’s always going to be.”
The good news – there is A WayToward Healing and Freedom. That will be my next post.
“It’s possible to trust in Jesus as our sin-bearer and receive forgiveness of sins, yet live much of our lives imprisoned by old lies of disappointment. Many of us have been deceived for so long that we just can’t talk ourselves into believing the truth. On our own we can’t free ourselves into believing the truth. On our own, we can’t free ourselves from the slavery of deception. We need divine help to reinterpret the lies we’ve been taught in the midst of disappointment.”
Again, if you would like to read the booklet booklet yourself or the PDF version, go to discovery series booklets.