Life rarely happens on our preferred timeline and often we have to wait for the good things we desire. But a postponed desire is not a personal rejection, and we must learn to accept disappointment while still living in hope.
For instance, we’re naturally disappointed whenever a friend cancels our lunch plans, our wife is not in the mood for sex, or when our breakthrough at work hasn’t happened yet despite our many efforts.
And while it’s tempting to take these things personally, rarely do they have anything to do with us directly, though, to be sure, they still come with a personal cost.
More often than not our desires have just been postponed and we’re not being personally rejected; it’s a not now rather than a not with you.
And this can play out in our prayer life as well. When God doesn’t immediately give us the desires of our heart it can feel like a No, and we might start to question our worth and even God’s goodness toward us.
But like with Daniel, there’s often more going on, and delays in our request might have nothing to do with a personal fault on our part.
Of course, this doesn’t make waiting easier and we’re still free to be disappointed. But our disappointment shouldn’t give way to despair or to the assumption that somehow we’re unworthy.
It’s generally best to take these moments at face value until there’s a good reason to do otherwise – remembering a delay is not the same as a denial.
To be sure, we often shoot ourselves in the foot when we take things too personally, as our defensiveness and blame can push the other person away. But here our rejection is of our own making.
In the end, be disappointed when your desires are deferred. But don’t take this too personally as there’s often more to the story, and a not now is not a rejection of you.