Leaving the Land of Disappointment

Sharon JaynesLiving Free, Living Fully, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, Trusting God 26 Comments

Have you ever felt discouraged and disappointed? Silly question. We all have. Keep reading and you’ll see how Mary Magdalene handled those same feelings. Let’s see what we can learn from her.

Sometimes you expect you’re getting a Rachel and you wake up with a Leah. Okay, I know that example might connect better with a guy, but you get the point.

Let me try that again. What do you do after you’ve crossed the Red Sea of obstacles, only to be dying of thirst at Marah three days later? How do you keep your dancing from turning into disappointment? One thing is for sure; you don’t drive down your tent pegs by the disappointing waters of Marah and camp out there. You move on.

I think of the women on Jesus’s ministry team. They had committed their lives to the Messiah and believed that He would restore Israel. Mary Magdalene and a handful of other women had followed him for more three years. But life had not turned out like they thought it would. Their hopes and dreams were nailed to a cross and the lifeblood spilled on the ground to be trampled underfoot. Their future lay in a borrowed tomb—sealed behind an imposing stone.

It appeared Jesus was not going to be the ruler and set things right after all. The very people He came to save had killed Him. This was not how the story was supposed to go . . . at least in their eyes.

So what did Mary and the other women do? On the third day after Jesus’s death, while it was still dark, they got up, gathered their spices and started walking to the tomb (John 20:1).  Never mind that it was still dark. Never mind that a giant boulder blocked the tomb’s entrance . . . a stone too heavy for the women to move.

Never mind that armed Roman soldiers stood guard over the grave. Never mind that the disciples were so discouraged and disillusioned that they hid away in a secret room. Never mind all that. The women didn’t have all the details worked out in their heads, but they were not going to sit home in their discouragement—paralyzed into inactivity. They were going to move forward . . . while it was still dark.

Mary Magdalene got up, and she got going . . . while it was still dark. In the end, she was not disappointed that she took this step of faith, and you won’t be either. Just as assuredly as Jesus met her at her greatest point of need, He will meet you at yours.

Did you notice that Mary Magdalene didn’t wait until her circumstances changed before she got moving? Jesus was still dead as far as she knew. But she got up and moved forward anyway.

And where did she go? Yes, she went to the tomb, but there is more. She went back to the last pace she had seen Him. Perhaps that is where you need to go today. Go back to the last place you encountered Jesus. Even if it is still dark. Even if you are still in a dark place. Even if a seemingly impossible imposing boulder of disappointment is blocking your dreams. Don’t worry about moving the stone. God’s good at that. You just keep putting one faithful foot in front of the other and let God take care of the rest.

Oh, what we miss when we make camp in the painful place of disappointment and refuse God’s invitation to continue the adventurous journey. We miss the moments of sudden glory when our eyes are shut tight because of discouragement, and our hearts are bolted fast with despair.

Never allow the weight of discouragement to hold you down or lower your expectations of the life in Christ. Get up. Get moving. Open your eyes. Open your heart. There’s more to experience just around the bend.

Heavenly Father, sometimes I get so discouraged that I just stop. I drive my tent pegs down in the soil of discouragement and camp out. I know I need to leave the past behind and press on toward what is ahead. That is exactly what I’m going to do today. Give me the courage and the power of the Holy Spirit to take the next step out of the wilderness and head toward my Promised Land. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Do you need prayer today? Leave a comment with your prayer request, then pray for the name below yours. 

A mediocre, mundane faith is not your destiny! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let God, Move Forward, Live Bold, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith

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God intends. Let’s uncover untapped sources of confidence and courage, and see how to move from simply knowing the truth to actually living it out boldly in a life marked by true freedom and expectancy. It’s time to get UNSTUCK! (Includes a Bible Study Guide for group or individual study.) And while you’re there, check out the Take Hold necklace made by the women of Fashion and Compassion.

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Comments 26

  1. I need some prayer ladies. This email came in my inbox as I sat on the couch wondering how I was gonna make it thru the land of Marah. I have had a long 3 years which ended in divorce and then a marriage to a wonderful man. Yet, I am stuck. I am hurting. I am sad. I am angry and I am confused. My ex husband relapsed and left after working with him for 2 years on his stuff. 12 years of marriage. No closure and a broken broke. Heart. Then came along my husband I believe a blessing from God to rescue me. To keep me from going back to many things. Some days are good some days are bad. And some days i am numb. I am there now. I am having some health issues. Have gained some weight. Sold my business and now am waiting. What is next Lord. I want out of this dry land of disappointment in Others and self. So much good has come out of it and so much healing. Yet i am still hurting.
    Sad & Confused.

    1. I am praying for you and the situation with pain. Sometimes we are not prepared to rid ourselves of toxic people and circumstances but God will lead you out of the murky water. Satan loves for us to stay in the weeds and cloudy waters., but God is still In control. Use the pain for strength. We don’t understand but God does He will never leave you nor for sake you! Stay strong sister!

  2. Thank you for this devotion, Sharon. I am going to share this with my brother who has been recovering from drug addiction. It also has helped me, struggling with helping my 85 yr old mother struggling with memory issues. Blessings to you!

  3. “While it was still dark…” – wow that’s powerful. Thank you Mrs. Jaynes for that word. I would like to request prayer for my marriage. My husband left me some time ago and I’m the only one fighting for us. I believe it is what God is telling me to do. The past 24 hours have been particularly hard due to a situation that has come up. Right when I feel strong, it seems something comes in to knock me back 40 steps and I question if I was ever really strong/believe at all. I struggle with clinical depression and have been spiraling but thank God I’ve been able to get out of bed, stop listening to the enemy’s lies and saturate myself with His Word. I am praying for my strength in the Lord and although sometimes scary to think about, move according to His Will. It’s scary because I desperately want my marriage to be healed and not knowing if my desire will line up with God’s Will scares me. Sorry but I’m just being honest. I am praying (and ask for your prayers) that He will help me to trust and keep moving towards Him regardless of the outcome – while it’s still dark. Thank you.

  4. Need prayer. Possibly loosing my home. I struggle financially and I am not sure where this situation leads. I am trying not to worry!! Its so hard! Prayers for wisdom, patience, eyes to see and a heart to hear

  5. I pray God to help me put on His Amor of Peace, Trust, Grace and Strength as I move through and beyond this unwanted divorce after 22 years of marriage. May I be reminded of who I am Whose I am – silencing any voices if doubt and fear. I am a New Creation in Jesus name, Amen.

  6. Hello,
    I need prayer for my marriage. We’re living more like roommates than spouses. We barely communicate. My spouse has a problem with alcohol but would never admit it let alone seek help. They also exhibit narcissistic behavior. Forgiving and extending grace becomes hard when things stay the same or get worse instead of better. I want a healthy, thriving relationship. Thank you!

  7. Please pray – my relationship with my 21 year old daughter …. I feel totally broken bruised and hurt by her behaviour towards me … she is living with 32 year old guy with his 7 year old child … and going to give up her uni course as midwife .. refuses to see me or really speak to me.. only communication is through wots app… she is struggling with anxiety and depression but just takes it all out on me …. i don’t even know where she lives as she won’t give me the address I pray for God to bless her and for his Holy Spirit to flood through her …. every day but I am in a dark dark place and can’t see how we can ever recover from this or even when I will see her again … thank you for this message today it was an encouragement …. although prayers for more trust and faith on my part and for healing – thank youn

  8. I ask prayer that my husband will be released from incarceration and that the Governor will approve his pardon packet which we are submitting.

  9. Yes I need prayer! My mother-in-law’s health is declining, & she was moved to a nursing home late last week. My husband & his sister are working on separating the household things. By his words, my husband want to take all the furniture out of their house — and replace it with furniture from his mother’s house! Never mind that most of the furniture here is gifts from my family, never mind that the styles are radically different — he’s retired, I still work, and I am expected to a) accept the complete switch and b) accomplish the rearrangement! Enough room in the basement o store things for a while, to see what works. Well, then I’m asked in a rather nasty tone “So WHY EXACTLY does MY mother’s furniture belong in the basement???” I suggested a possible arrangement using 2 matching pieces but not a third of a different color & style and was told he’s “sick of you always insisting on having your way.” I know he is upset, knowing that his mother will pass, dealing with that — but there must be a middle ground somewhere and I am afraid of what may happen to the living room full of Broyhill & antiques when I leave for work on trash day….

    Lord, guidance for both of us, an soon please!

  10. My life has always been unhappy, full of disappointments and discouragement. First didn’t never feel lived by my parents, though they’re both deceased- the feelings of being unloved still lingers in my life like a bad dream. Trusting men has always been a big issue because of my older brother sexually molesting me while I was growing up. I trusted my ex husband only to be discouraged when it felt like alcohol was more important than his own wife and children. Have had feelings for other men(online dating sites), but they too tarnished my faith in men by only wanting me for financial gain and/or sex. I have always prided myself by being able to work but now because of my depression, anxiety and panic attacks I have lost my job. I have a boyfriend but he lives in another state and I live with my ex husband and my youngest daughter. I thought that I could trust this boyfriend because he seemed different but he was wanting me to give him my information about my cellphone account so he could get cellphones and resell them. I have been through this situation before with another man and luckily my account was in arrears so they declined it. Am so disappointed and discouraged again, I was so depressed that I had slept from Saturday night until yesterday and hadn’t eaten anything since Saturday night. This made my youngest daughter worry about me and she encouraged me to go with her to the gym. My prayer is to help me find happiness in myself, get a job and feel like a productive person again.

  11. Dear Lord, I need forgiveness. I pray for a healing for my Mom. I pray for a better relationship with my Dad. Please Lord, help me to overcome my anxiety and OCD and please let me forgive Kayla. Please Jesus, touch me today, and help me to be a better employee, friend, daughter, and cousin. Praise you Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

  12. Loving God, I praise you with all my heart and all that I am. Please, provide comfort, strength and wisdom to all my sister’s in God below and above my comment/prayer. You know the desires of their hearts and we are confident that you will answers at the right time and in surprising ways. We adore you and thank you. In Jesus name, amen.

  13. Please pray for my 17 year old daughter, Sarah. She says she doesn’t believe anymore. She accepted him as her Lord and savior a while back. I pray that she will go back to him!

  14. Prayers to move forward in my Identity in Christ and to be obedient to his good plan for my life! Please pray for my family to live, love and grow in the promises of God. Our Identity is in Christ his plans for us is good he is faithful! ♥️🙏🏻🥰💎🙌🏻

  15. I need healing prayer for my marriage. I have allowed my disease to take control of my life and I need to stop because it’s affecting everything else in my life.

    1. Praying for you. Try limiting your added sugar intake to 20 grams or less a day, cut your carbs in half, drink water in place of other drinks. Eat breakfast and don’t eat anything at all 3 hours before bed. This is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. Praying and God bless…

  16. After 20 years with my husband he told me in May that he wanted a divorce. I prayed fervently and God released me from my prison of pain and anger that I had built up towards him over the years. I was then able to see how I was also the problem, not just him. He had hurt me repeatedly throughout our entire relationship with pornography, lies and a wall he put up around himself because of pain in his past. That caused me to slowly build up a wall around myself. This is a man that needs constant physical touch to feel loved and I withdrew from him. I couldn’t stand the pain of yet finding out again that he was back watching porn. A couple years ago it was also revealed that he had been secretly drinking a ton of alcohol at night in our garage. I never knew, he hid it very well. He stopped drinking for health reasons and started going to AA meetings. He hadn’t had a drink in a year and a half when he told me he wanted a divorce. While I thought I had been there supporting him through this I was not giving him what he needed. We were only being intimate 2-3 times a month and he needs it a lot more. So after God lifted the veil of pain and anger from me, I saw his pain. I decided that was it, things were going to be different. We started having sex every day and I made an all out effort to show him how much I love him. He agreed to “work on things”…yet in September, when I thought things were going much better, he went behind my back and filed for divorce. He didn’t give me warning and he didn’t tell me until 2 days later. All the while we’re still being intimate every day! I was completely devastated. I ramped it up with letters of love, changed my behavior completely with God’s help… I became a very calm and forgiving person. He was carrying a ton of anger towards me for shutting him out for so long. But it was the only way I could stop the pain. He had become bitter in our relationship as had I and he was just very mean to me on a daily basis. While God had miraculously released me from that prison, he had not done it for my husband. He was still very angry. I wanted so much to heal our relationship and for him to emotionally reconnect with me. I prayed more than ever. But he kept saying that he didn’t believe me, he thought I was faking it all. God finally touched his heart and mid November he once again agreed to work on things. But he still refused to forgive me for hurting him. During this whole ordeal he has been going through a mid -life crisis and seeing a counselor for his addictions. I’ve been right here loving him to the best of my ability, showing him how our marriage can an should be. I bought the book Praying for Your Husband from Head Toe, what an amazing book!! I highly recommend it to anyone with a husband! I started reading the book and praying for my husband almost every day. I started seeing real change happening in him. But I still couldn’t shake this feeling that something else was between us, I could tell he was hiding something. I decided to check his text messages while he was sleeping and my very worst fears were confirmed. He had an affair and while it appeared that the sexual part had ended in June, he was still speaking to her. This was a professional woman that he had to speak with often because of his job. He had been sleeping with her on his business trips to PA where she was. He had been carrying on an emotional affair with her since February and slept with her 5 times, in April, May and June. The last time in June is especially hard for me because we had been having sex every day. I am completely devastated. It’s only been 5 days since I found out, the feelings are still raw, but I feel like dying. I wouldn’t wish this heartache on anyone. I can’t eat or sleep, I can barely function at all. My 13-year old daughter can tell something is wrong, but I can’t say anything. We’ve been hiding this entire thing from our 2 kids. My husband is also devastated, and feels much shame. He’s been crying with me, and he never does that. He finally forgave me a couple days ago for the hurt I’ve caused him. I had forgiven him for everything up to this point. Right now I don’t know how to forgive this. How do I forgive him when he had sex with me, left, had sex with her, then returned home and had sex with me again? How can a man that made vows to me do such a heinous thing? It’s unconscionable. And yet I feel like it’s partly my fault. I left a void, this woman saw it and worked it like you wouldn’t believe, said everything he needed to hear and got him in bed. I could see the manipulation in the texts, it was disgusting. She was planning to come in and take my place after he left me. My husband denies that she had anything to do with his decisions. He said he was going to divorce me before she came along. Even so, I think she was a nice cushion waiting in the background for him to leave. He never did leave, through it all he stayed in our bed. Should that mean something? He says he got caught up in the conversations with her, that really the only thing he cared about was their connection through communication. She said everything right. I don’t know if I can believe or trust him at all anymore. Prior to me finding out about the affair, he had swore with his hand on the bible that he hadn’t cheated. Who lies on the Bible?! This is supposed to be a devoted Christian man. I love my husband, but this is completely devastating to what were just starting to build back up. I don’t know what to do. I keep praying. Please pray for me, I’m lost and sometimes don’t know if I’ll make it another day.

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