Disappointment does its best to drag its victims into the ground. It is not subtle in its intentions. “Comfort!” we cry. And we run to everything and everyone but God. Too often disappointment completes its mission and keeps us hovering in the dark.

Hell rejoices when God’s children fall along the path. What could be better than to seed discouragement and bitterness, darkling elements into a Child of Light? The enemy wants you and me to become less and less, but not in the sense that John the Baptizer meant it. Rather, to become less and less our selves—less and less of the way God created us. Our delights originate with God and when they remain pure, the Child of Light thrives in delight, spreading brilliance to everyone.

“The deepest likings and impulses of any man are the raw material,” says the old devil Screwtape to the apprentice devil Wormwood as he tries to turn the believer away from God, the starting-point, with which the Enemy has furnished him. To get him away from those is therefore always a point gained; even in things indifferent it is always desirable to substitute the standards of the World, or convention, or fashion, for a human’s own real likings or dislikings.”[1]

You and I possess such tremendous power within our delights. But it is a power easily dimmed by hard circumstances. When disappointment moves in, it tends to linger and there is nothing more course and ugly as a Child of Light banging around in the shadows, bruising others because they cannot shake the bitterness.

Fly above the lingering shadows, towards heaven’s delight. Today is the day to deny disappointment a foothold and rise to the heights. 

[1] C. S Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour and Co., 1990), 68-69. 

Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.