The Still Small Voice

The Art of Reflection - Overcoming Disappointment

 Chapter Five, Part Five






Overcoming Disappointment

I have noticed that many with an undoubted ability to hear the Still Small Voice never seem to develop the gift very far because they become so discouraged by the setbacks and opposition that come their way.

A well-known leader challenged a friend of ours, who has a distinct prophetic edge, ‘How do you know the Lord speaks to you?’ Whatever the motive for asking the question, its effect was to unleash an inner flood of overwhelming doubts about the whole nature of her relationship with the Lord – even to the point where she all but lost her usual desire to sit and ask Him what He was saying and doing.

Sensing that there was more to this than one isolated challenge, I dug deeper, and discovered a recurring pattern. When she was a teenager, she had begun to exercise a powerful healing ministry. Her best friend pleaded with her to stop doing this because she found it intensely embarrassing. As happens all too often, fear of man won the day, and this precious ministry ground to an immediate halt.

The Lord prompted me next to ask about her birth. It turned out to have been traumatic and life-threatening. The physical squeezing mirrored the spiritual clampdown, and gave us a key to pray for fresh release.

If the enemy can succeed in denting our trust, it follows that we will hold back from using the authority the Lord has invested in us. Effectively, this relegates us to the spiritual sidelines. Trust and confidence are therefore central battlegrounds. Once disappointment finds a lodging in our heart, it plays a persistent refrain: ‘I’ve been here before; it didn’t work then, so what’s the point of trying again?’

Disappointment is like a leak dripping through the roof. It seeps into our attic, where it strengthens into full-blown discouragement. Now decidedly polluted, the water seeps through the ceiling, and drips into the living spaces of our heart in various noxious and malodorous forms, promoting festering conditions such as self-pity, envy, bitterness, fear – and touchiness.

Every one of these deadly foes is a leak that needs attention. Fail to take action, and these foul waters will pass through yet another floor until they become a stinking stagnant pool that floods the basement of our lives with their monstrous effluent: despair and cynicism.

This graphic image shows us just how important it is to give the Lord our hurts and disappointments at an earlier stage, before these mega foes of faith set in. Once they have established a base in our hearts, it can take quite a major operation to get living water flowing again, and to remove the polluted water.

What will it take to restore our cutting edge? Usually the ministry of others, combined with proactive faith on our part, and a willingness to forgive those who have dented our confidence.

Father, set us free right now we pray from the weight of all our many discouragements and disappointments, and set the water of your lifegiving Spirit flowing freely through us again.