Last week I arrived home from work to be excitedly greeted by my youngest daughter.
With much enthusiasm, she told me she had made dessert for that evening.
I loved seeing her enthusiasm and joy about what she'd prepared.
My expectations were heightened.
We ate dinner and came to dessert. My daughter got up from the table and proudly served the delicious dessert she'd lovingly prepared.
Mud cake. Not chocolate mud cake. Mud. With no chocolate in sight.
I was caught between surprise, joy and disappointment. I realised at that moment how much I'd been looking forward to the dessert delight my girl had made for us all, only to have my expectations smashed by the pile of muddy goop - served in a bowl - that now sat before me.
My daughter was still delighted as the six of us sat around the table, laughing about the surprise and pretending to eat it.
She had put a lot of time into preparing this dish for us, and I didn't want to ruin her fun just because I had missed out on real chocolate cake.
Disappointment recognises that we don't have, didn't get or will never have what we wanted.
Some disappointments are seemingly minor, like getting mud for dessert when we expect chocolate mud cake.
Other disappointments can completely derail us; the lost job, the fractured relationship, the death of a loved one.
Every disappointment is different, and each one of us responds differently.
Yet we can choose to hold on to disappointment, and let it determine our outlook on life, or we can learn in and from the disappointment, and perhaps grow wiser as we walk through it.
Disappointment that isn't dealt with in healthy ways can lead to bitterness, guilt, shame, anger or unforgiveness.
When it moves from being an emotion we feel to a seemingly-unending season in our lives, disappointment can seem crippling and overwhelming.
Okay, being disappointed over my fake dessert is trivial.
Disappointment regarding things that matter, hurts. Here's the promise I hold onto: Jesus came so we could have abundant life (John 10:10). He didn't promise a life free from worry, pain and disappointment; He promised life with Him that could overcome the pain and worry of this world.
If you want to know more about this abundant life, let's meet for some cake and I'll tell you about it.