The name for this blog comes from the Hebrew word merchab. Merchab is a masculine noun that appears most often in the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures. It means a broad or roomy place, an expansive place, a wide place. Read more...

May 5, 2009


I am disappointed in you. The outcome was such a disappointment. I am sure I am going to be disappointed. I am disappointed in myself.

Disappointment – it is a curious concept. You have missed an appointment, failed to measure up to an expectation. You have fallen short.

Disappointment derives from a vision of life as a series of goals that must be achieved. When we fail to make the grade we are disappointed; we are a disappointment.

How did we come to define life by a mythical external standard of measurement? Who set the rules? Who created the test?

Perhaps most puzzling of all – what do we hope to achieve when we say someone or something is a disappointment?

When a child brings home a report card that does not measure up to parental expectation the parent says, “I am disappointed in you.” Does the disappointed parent expect this statement will motivate the child to work harder, do better or achieve a greater measure of success?

Jesus taught his disciples for three years. They witnessed his miracles and shared an intimate connection with Jesus. When Jesus was arrested and brutally executed, did his followers come to his defense? Did they fill the streets with the news of the terrible injustice that had been done? Did they rush to announce that Jesus had been the embodiment of life, truth, love, and justice?

After his death Jesus’ disciples hid for fear behind locked doors. (John 20:19) When Jesus stood among his fearful, doubt-filled, insecure disciples surely he would rebuke them for their lack of courage. Surely, Jesus would say, “I am so disappointed in you.” But Jesus says only, “Peace be with you.” Then “he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:21,22) Jesus understood that healthy motivation comes from the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit. And Jesus knew that we find God’s Spirit, not by being rebuked or reprimanded, but by being forgiven and set free.

I wonder if I can let go of my disappointments and embrace myself as I am rather than demanding I change before I deem myself acceptable. I wonder if I can receive all of life, even the difficult bits that feel like a disappointment, as a gift along the way. Disappointment keeps me trapped and bound by external expectations. Acceptance and embrace set me free to live from the deep inner well-spring of God’s Spirit. It really is my choice!

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