How God Surprises Us When We are Overwhelmed with Disappointments

Disappointments about missing out on a longed for outing, Kerryn is given a surprise by God.

“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:21).

Being at a friend’s beach house creates so very many opportunities to do a myriad of great things. Years ago I’d be here and love to wander the beach, look for seashells, fly kites, go to a beach cafe for a cuppa and chat with my hubby, ride on a horse-drawn tram to visit the penguins, fossick through craft shops and so many other joys (which means to rummage or search around in Australian).

Now being here comes with the reminder that those things are not possible, due to illnesses.

All I wanted to do, when I finally woke in the afternoon was to go to the beach. After all, it’s only a two minute walk! Exhausted after making breakfast, I realized that the simple joy of going to the beach was not going to happen–again. I’d hoped energy might arise for the past three days, but even being driven to the beach was out of my league.

Feeling emotion welling up, I quietly removed myself from the family to collapse on my bed in tears. I knew I was so very privileged to have those stunning sea views and a loving family around me. Yet the grief was sudden and overwhelming at the loss of the simple things in life that everyone takes for granted.

Sobbing quietly on the bed, all I could pray was the groaning of a broken heart. . . but I knew that God understood.

Within minutes my husband gently knocked and came in. I thought that he was coming in to comfort me, having noticed how I was feeling. Never in a million years could I have guessed what he would say next!

“Do you want to see some whales in the bay?”

What?! Was he joking?

Sure enough, right from the windows of the lounge, we could see whales frolicking and leaping through the waters out at sea! This was a sight none of our family had ever seen before! It was truly amazing to witness these mammoth creatures twisting and leaping.

God’s generosity and timing completely blew me away. In a moment I’d moved from tears of grief to squeals of joy! I’d felt completely forgotten and abandoned to suddenly blessed and loved.

This was such a reminder that I can’t trust my feelings, but I can trust God to know my feelings. It also reminded me that I can miss those wonderful moments of blessings that are there for me, if I stay hidden in my room in tears.

I know God heard my cries that day. He placed the most magnificent creatures there for me to enjoy. God saw that it was good. I saw that it was good too!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your amazing creation. Magnificently huge creatures leapt for joy and it was good. Thank You for blessing me with surprises when I least expected it. Help me to look out for Your surprises and see the goodness in them. Amen.

About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

What surprises has God given you through His creation? Are there other ways to enjoy God’s creation, despite illness keeping you indoors?

This is Yolanda Adams singing “Open My Heart.” The lyrics describe how she is sitting in her room, calling out to God, feeling lonely and as though her dreams and hopes are burning out. Yet, she prays and asks God to open her heart to whatever He wishes. How often we must do this–daily even–just as Kerryn did in her room, so desiring to see what was beyond those 4 walls. I hope it blesses you today. -Lisa

26 Responses to How God Surprises Us When We are Overwhelmed with Disappointments

  1. Dear Kerryn,
    Thank you so much for your post! It could not have come at a better time – the grace of God working through you to me! I have just had a big doctor’s appointment yesterday – the kind where I had built up optimism for the possibility of a procedure to alleviate some of my pain. The doctor told me that the procedure I had placed my hope on was not for me, and would not help me. Of course, I have been through this before, but it is always disappointing, and it takes me a bit to get my bearings again! Your post really helped me. I know that God is always by my side and knows everything in my heart. It is hard not to dwell on all of the things that I cannot do any longer, but I know that God has a real purpose for me, just as I am. He shows me so much love and so much beauty, if I will keep my eyes open and on Him. God bless you Kerryn and thank you for writing for Rest Ministries – you help so many of us!

    Best Always,

    • Oh Melissa, I’m soooo very sorry for your disappointment with that news. It sure is hard to “bounce back” after those sort of struggles. Your precious words show that you’re on the lookout for His blessings and surprises. I often think of Him saying: “Wow! How will my beloved daughter react to this treat for her?!”

      I praise God for His timing at the posting of this for you, as it actually happened over a month ago, but took me a while to have the energy to edit it & send it to Lisa. Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement too. I’m thankful that God uses the little I have to create much. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  2. Dear Kerryn,
    I so understand those types of moments that you are not able to do all you used to do. I am so thankful that we have a God that cares about all our moments. Thank you for sharing your writing on here has encouraged me many times. I pray that God will grant you many more blessed moments. Take care.

    • Thanks Marian. RM is such a wonderful place to be with people who truly understand each other. I’m so thankful that my writing has encouraged you. You have no idea how much that blesses & encourages me!

      There are many times where I have no energy to write & I sense God tapping me on the shoulder saying “Let’s write!” I used to say “Are you kidding Lord?!” But I now know He provides the energy when those precious times arise. God is GOOD!! ♥ God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  3. Thank you for these very personal thoughts, Kerryn. This spoke to my heart. I have been planning a “end of summer” trip to the beach and yesterday I realized that I probably don’t have the strength to do it. So reading your journey on that day made me weep as I realized the truth that God can only do good all the time!!

    • Dear pastorswife3, I’m sooooo sorry to read of your tears & sorrow with a beach trip that’s not possible. It sure can be hard letting go of some things.

      As I prayed for you I thought “Who knows what your staying at home may bring!?” I pray that there will be some surprises from the Lord for you through that time.

      I treasure those words you wrote: “So reading your journey on that day made me weep as I realized the truth that God can only do good all the time!!” Gentle hugs ♥♥ Lotsoluv Kerryn

  4. Dear Kerryn,

    Am so happy for you that God took you from thid sadness to exhilarating experience with the whales literally in your backyard, so to speak. God is so good and what an amazing show of His goodness. So glad you are at the beach and praying you still get to the beach and get the sand in your toes, as they say in Florida.

    This will be short, as still trouble posting and a pain day. Hoping you have a great beach holiday and more blessings to come.



    • Patty, thanks for your gift to me of writing through “a pain day.” What a blessing you are. Praying for rest, comfort & relief for you, but mostly for precious times with our dear Lord, as you’re still with Him. Gentle hugs ♥

      Yes, I finally got to the beach on the last day at the beach house! (Day 8) I pushed through to go. My eldest son drove me & brought a recliner deck chair to the beach to sit on. I’d really wanted to collect shells, but it was too hard. Then eldest son said “Look Mum!” There was a huge collection of little shiny & pretty shells all in one little area near my chair!! I brought some home as a display of God’s gift to me. Again God heard the cries of my heart. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  5. Great devotion Kerryn :-)
    God is awesome :-)

  6. Thank you for this post. I have been struggling with loosing so much due to my health. Just a couple weeks ago I collapsed in bed in tears over attending church. Iam not able to do as much as I once could and it looked like I would miss Sunday services, my husband was stressed sad and watching me suffer, knowing attending Church would only put me in bed for most of the coming week. This made him resistant to take me, and I was already crying at the thought of missing and now faced my husbands “sheer shelfishness” of not wanting to take me, after a long cry on both parts I looked at it through his eyes, softened and realized it was not shelfishness but love for me, he hurt watching me hurt. In the end we made it that week. And it put me in bed most of the week as we knew it would. But I have a different view of my husbands love for me now. It is nice to read anothers experience in similar situation. The Lord provides for us in the way we need as individually, he knows my heart and yours. Iam so glad he showed you whales, what an awesome experience. For me knowing my husbands heart helped me. We talked and are fine now. We usually attend every other week, its what my body can do and my husbands work schedule allows. He has a weird schedule that rotates, and since we live 45 minutes from church and I am unable to drive that far anymore I will be happy with every other week. I no longer get to attend any midweek activities, any neither do the children but we have recently had offers to help transport kids
    The Lord will provide for you the things you need. Its hard to loose things due to health issues, but hopefully we can all find the blessings the Lord provides to help us let go and move on.

    • Oh my heart goes out to you ladyjae!!! ♥♥ I soooo understand the pain of not being able to attend church…..I haven’t managed going for over 2 1/2 years & am a “shut in.” It really does sound too much for your body & I feel for your dear hubby seeing the suffering it creates. Gentle hugs.

      My dear Lord has met with me, so very intimately, since worshiping at home. It has helped me to centre on worship being “all about Jesus” not about anything else! I know that He will do that for you too when you’re not able to attend church. Please be careful with your body. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

      • Thank you. We try to focus on Jesus on the weeks I am unable to attend church. When I am unable we all miss most of the time. It is hard to do but the way that you word it makes it sound so awesome. I will try to pray harder on Sundays for experiences like yours Worship at home. It truly is so hard. I am looking forward to attending tomorrow but the last 2 days have been horrid and today is not going well so far. My legs and feet are cold and cant get them warm, when they are cold they hurt so terribly its unreal and pain meds do not help. I have nerve pain but have not had the copay for the meds for nerve pain for several months. So I just live with it.Not easy. I was awake most of last night, got up with my husband before he went to work and made his breakfast for him and lunch as usual. I love the time with him in the morning, no kids interrupting just him and I. It is good. Today as soon as he left I climbed back into bed with my heated blanket trying to warm up my legs and it is not working. ugh
        I have been asked to preform a calling at church, it is nothing that requires my attending every week, fact is I do not step foot in the building to do it! I am excited because when this happened I had told my husband the week befoe that I felt like I would never be asked to do anything again and it was bothering me deeply. The Lord heard and found an answer and solution to that problem! Tomorrow is the day I am sustained by members of the congregation and sustained. Basically this means they will show they support me in it and then a blessing is given to me concerning what I will be doing. I am looking forward to it, a little excited. But I hurt so bad today I am unsure we will make it.
        My husband is so good about it all. Last night at dinner time I needed to hook up my 10s unit. Everyone was eating, I got up to do it and my husband waited to eat until I came back to eat with him. I told him I was sorry and that he could have eaten. He said “please dont ever apologize for being in pain and needing to take care of you, it makes me feel like a bad husband, like you think I am terrible”

      • Dear Ladyjae3, I’m soooo sorry for all that you’re going through. Praise God for you VERY sweet, caring & understanding husband!! He sounds a gem, like my dear hubby. May God bless them both! We are both very privileged to have them in our lives.

        I don’t think that precious experiences of intimacy with God are about “praying harder.” In fact quite the opposite for me!! The most precious times with God have been when I haven’t had any energy, brain or ability to pray. I’ve simply sat (or lay) still, in mind & body, & He’s ministered deeply to me with that peace that passes understanding. Other times I imagine that I’m a little girl sitting on my Abba Daddy’s lap with His gentle, yet strong, nail-scarred hands around me protecting me. I pray that you can rest in Him, as Jesus meets you where you are. Lotsoluv Kerryn
        PS. Your church sounds like a wonderfully supportive place. PTL!

  7. I love whales and the ocean! They’ve always reminded me of God’s grace and power and provision- what a lovely blessing, a message of encouragement to let you know no matter how things appear or feel to us, HE knows and cares and comforts us.

  8. Dear Kerryn,
    Isn’t God’s timing great. I can’t get my brain around it at times. I think it might be called omnipresent. Holidays can be a challenge too when we’re dealing with chronic illness, but I hope your family had a good time.

    Jenny (Perth)

    • Hi, my Aussie buddy, Jenny! ♥

      Yes, God’s timing so often blows me away. Like you, “I can’t get my brain around it at times.”

      Thanks, the family had a wonderful time & went off to fly kites together & do special “boy things” which was lovely for them. Gentle hugs. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  9. Oh Kerryn, what a wonderful thing God did for you that day!!! So many of us have never seen what you did, but He knew exactly what would change your sorrow into joy at that particular time. And yes! It was a big surprise wasn’t it?

    I appreciate your sharing this with us and now I also know a new Australian term “fossick”. Now if I can only remember it when I need it.

    The other morning I was feeling kinda down and God surprised me too. My hubby had gone to the city to shop for groceries (bless him!) and called me from there. He usually does that to see if I’ve thought of anything more I need that isn’t on my list. But this time he was outside at the gas station telling me how cold it was and … by the way, it was the coldest day we’ve had this September in my part of Canada, about 10 C. (50 F.) Then he told me that he’d accidentally spilled gas on his pants and the pavement while pumping. He was standing outside in order to get rid of some of the fumes before he went into a restaurant or stores.

    That was one surprise. But what I did while he was sharing this news was even more surprising. i started to laugh. And I laughed out loud for quite awhile. So God actually used his “accident” to bring some joy back for me.


    • Thanks dear Beth! Sooooo nice to hear from you….been missing you! ♥♥

      It sure was a HUGE surprise…..literally! Funny about the word “fossick” ……Lisa added the definition….I didn’t realize it was an Aussie word! I guess it came from fossicking for gold in gold pans?!

      I did chuckle at your story Beth!! Your poor hubby!!!! It’s sooooo important to keep our sense of humour through illnesses. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  10. Kerryn – loved reading your experience of how God turned “the ashes of your sorrow” into the “beauty” of seeing the whales in all their carefree joy. My sense is that He understood your needs to, not only cry out in your feelings of loss, but also to sense His goodness in this unique personal way.

    I see another thing in your story, too. It is that God used your husband’s sensitivity to how your were feeling to recognize something that would bring you the joy. Left on your own, you’d have missed those moments. We truly need to be open to others’ needs and bring joy when we can. And we eeed to be open when others want to comfort us.

    Great devotional!
    Love, Lynn

    • Awweee thanks dear Lynn! ♥♥ I praise God for your encouragement to me to write devotionals. Thanks dear friend.

      You know…..I never thought about what you wrote about my hubby!! I read your words to him & we agreed that I would have missed the whales otherwise! Yes, my dear hubby does know what helps. I’m sure that God would have found another way to get my attention, even if my hubby wasn’t there. God is GOOD! God bless you dear friend. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  11. Oh Kerryn! Such an absolutely beautiful testimony to how our Lord hears and cares about are needs, feelings and each tear we shed. Thank you for sharing it with us. Hugs to you diane

    • Thanks Diane. I really cherish moments like that that reflect God’s intense love, understanding & joy at surprising His beloved children. The further blessing of sharing this with others is that it’s now recorded for me to keep & read at other times, as a reminder. Gentle hugs back! ♥♥ Lotsoluv Kerryn

  12. Thank you!!!!!!! Just being reminded of my experiences seeing those precious whales in San Diego when I lived on Mission Beach was pure joy! PURE JOY!

    • Hi Linda!

      I’m soooooo sorry that I didn’t see your comment until now! I’m reading through my devotionals as a reflection time & was very encouraged to see your comment.

      I’m DELIGHTED that my devotional brought you joyful memories of “seeing those precious whales in San Diego.” My eldest son went to a leaders seminar in San Diego about 5 years ago & saw the whales there & LOVED them. It’s great that God’s creatures help us to tap into a joy that springs up from deep in our hearts & souls. A special connection to our Creator! :-) God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

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