How is it that God uses disappointment to teach us so much more than we could learn through success?
I’ve been wondering this ever since the end of Nationals, and the answer is truly comforting. He is all-wise and all-good. He always knows what’s best for us, and He always does what’s best for us. I had learned this same lesson in the midst of amazing success in 2019, but God knew that it was time for me to learn it through disappointment, and I’m so glad He did.
This year honestly might be my favorite Nationals experience, second only perhaps to 2019. That seems odd since this was the first year in a long time that I haven’t made Semis, but God used it mightily. I had several encouraging and helpful conversations that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I had made Semis or Finals again. I got to be a blessing to others who were going through even worse disappointment than I was. God used me to be an example of glorifying Him even in the midst of disappointment. It was certainly not through my own strength. If I had been left to deal with such a situation alone, I surely would have been crushed and unable to be an encouragement to others. But God continued to be faithful to me through it all.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my Nats experience this year, it’s that God is so much wiser than I could ever be. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) In the very next couple of verses, the Lord goes on to say that His Word will always accomplish the purpose for which He sent it. He has surely been accomplishing His good purposes in my own life.
Let me encourage anyone still struggling with a measure of confusion as to the results of Nationals or disappointment with what happened. I know what you’re feeling. To work so hard and put in so much time and energy and to come up with seemingly nothing – how could God be glorified with that? How could that be what He wants?
Dear friend, God always has your best interest in mind. He is a good and loving Father, and He would never do anything for your harm. Your work and diligence was never for nothing. The true prize is Christ. The achievement of your goals is second to that. It’s hard not to get what you wanted – Perfect Orals, Semis, a good test score, a fantastic placement. But you have to trust that God knows best. Don’t go through all of the hypotheticals, trying to imagine a better scenario, because there isn’t one. Let God have His way with you, and you will come out as gold. “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” (Job 23:10)
Christ is the starting line, the track that we run on, and the goal that we reach for. Let Him be your all, for He is worthy.