Distraction: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
I read several articles over the past few days which all stated that the number one cause of vehicle accidents in the Western world is DISTRACTION (there are more than several places that I could site - just Google it and you will see). The second most common cause of vehicle accidents is drunk driving - which, if you ask me, is also a distraction. Let's face it...if a person get so smashed that they shouldn't be driving, that is a definite sign that the person is trying to numb some kind of pain by giving full attention to something other than the issues at hand (that something being alcohol). A distraction by its very definition.
So what does distraction have to do with disappointment, you may ask. Let me explain it from a vision I had this week while praying for a discouraged friend.
In the vision I saw myself standing on top of a high tower that overlooked the ocean and a long beach. On one side of the beach, I saw a group of people who seemed flustered. Some were sad because they couldn't find seashells, while others were disappointed because the waves were too small. Some were distracted by the seagulls eating their lunches, and others wept at their sandcastles being destroyed by the rising tide. As I watched the disappointment of those on the beach, I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder and a nudge to look down the opposite side of the beach. When I looked to the East, I saw the most stunning, brilliant, glorious sunrise I had ever seen in my life! The colors were vivid and the sand began to shine like gemstones under light. It literally took my breath away.
My glance quickly went back to those on the beach, almost expecting them to be sharing the same awe and wonder that I was in that moment while the sun began to rise. But sadly, the people on the beach were so distracted by their disappointment that they were missing the beauty in the sky and the glimmering seashore.
While meditating on this vision, the Lord began to remind me of the times (even recently) that I had allowed disappointment to cloud my vision, and how that clouded vision became a distraction to everything else that He was trying to show me. I began to see disappointment personified in some ways, and it seemed like it was bigger and more powerful than even the truth itself. I'll be honest - at times, disappointment seemed to eclipse everything else.
At times, disappointment seemed to eclipse everything else.
I've had some pretty tough disappointments over the years - as I know you have had as well - and what I am NOT saying is that we need to "suck it up," dismiss the disappointment and just move along. Jesus had disappointments as did most of our Bible heroes of the faith. Read the Psalms and you'll see how up and down David was! But you will also see how David never stayed there in the disappointment; David learned to process it with God appropriately and speak to his soul, commanding himself and his emotions to rise up and remember the benefits of the Lord (Psalm 18, 27, 34, 62, and 103 are a few of my favorites). David never exalted his disappointments over the wonderful truth of a God who promised to be more glorious and more real than the disappointments themselves. He grieved and felt fear and lived moments of being overwhelmed by life and circumstances, but he was not so distracted by these things that they crippled him, either.
David never exalted his disappointments over the wonderful truth of a God who promised to be more glorious and more real than the disappointments themselves.
I've been near crippled by disappointment. I have SO been there. I think I was almost there last week! But I'm grateful that the sun always rises, and in Jesus there is always something beautiful to see, especially when I get my eyes off of the pain and disappointment. He is SO good. He never leaves or forsakes us, and even when our disappointment distracts us from His beauty, nothing separates us from His love (Romans 8:35-39). His very resurrection life resides within us (Romans 8:10-20), and by faith we can access this power and speak life over these disappointments!
Distractions may take out more vehicle drivers than anything else, but they are not legal in the kingdom of God. As we learn to process our pain appropriately and as we begin to daily remind ourselves of the beauty, character and love of our Jesus, we no longer need be distracted by disappointments that come our way. I declare today that distractions can no longer take us out, and I declare disappointment powerless in Jesus Name!
May we always be people who point others to the sunrise. Because the sun will ALWAYS rise. Even when storm clouds roll in and the tide tears down our little sandcastles, the sun will STILL rise. And God will STILL restore and work it out for our good.
....even when our disappointment distracts us from His beauty, nothing separates us from His love (Romans 8:35-39).