How to Handle Life’s Disappointments

“Then the Lord said to [Moses], “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not go over there.” 

– Deuteronomy 34:4

If there is one thing the world guarantees, it comes full of disappointments. We learn very early in life that things will not always go as we had hoped; we will not always get what we want, nor will we always be successful at everything we try. As we age, we face the reality that some dreams will remain only a dream. Yes, life is full of disappointments, and I admit, this paints a bleak picture, and it can be. However, how we react to those times of dismay can make all the difference moving forward.

For example, Moses must have been excited to usher the people of Israel into the promised land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, it did not turn out that way for Moses; God did not allow him to enter the promised land because he had once disobeyed the Lord in front of all the people. I suspect that came as a huge disappointment to Moses. After all, he led the nation Israel around the desert for decades, only never to step one foot into the long-awaited land of milk and honey.

Perhaps you have heard the analogy that life is like a hallway of doors where some doors are open to us, and others are closed or never opened to us. The doors that are closed or never opened for us represent life’s disappointments. Our problem is that we can sometimes become fixated on the closed doors, and we endlessly knock and wait for the door to open, only to ignore or miss out on the open doors. We sometimes fail to see or appreciate the more significant opportunities available to us in life.

As Moses neared the last of his days, God allowed him to look upon the promised land, to see the land flowing with milk and honey. That must have been a breathtaking sight, a view pleasing to Moses, but perhaps he was still disappointed by not going into the promised land. You might say that door in life was closed to him by God, just as the Lord closes many doors to us. However, when Moses breathed his final breath, he entered through one more door, the door that leads into paradise. A place far better than the promised land, it is the ultimate promised land.

Therefore, when God closes a specific door to us in life, it is not because He does not love us but because He does love us that those doors are closed. God will close select doors and open those that are best for us. Like Moses, who did not enter the promised land but instead entered the ultimate promised land, God knows what is best for you and me, and when He closes one door, it is because He has something greater in store for us through the door He has opened.

Perhaps you are dealing with a recently closed door in life, only to stand there knocking and trying to force that door open. Instead, be encouraged to look at the doors God has opened for you. God already knows what the future has in store for us. Remember, He is not bound by linear time; he is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere all the time and at any point in time. Since God knows the future, He knows what is best for us. That is why He closes some doors and opens others. Therefore, instead of focusing on that closed door in life, ask yourself, what doors has God opened for me?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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