"Rivers of Disappointment"
September 21, 2013
(God said) "And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." Psalm 50:15
Sir Alexander Mackenzie is a Canadian hero.
An early fur trader and explorer, Mackenzie accomplished a magnificent feat when he led an expedition across Canada from Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca to the Pacific Ocean. His incredible journey was completed in 1793, 11 years before Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition to the West.
Mackenzie's earlier attempt in 1789, however, had been a major disappointment.
He and his explorers had set out to find a water route to the Pacific. With high hopes and some furious paddling, the valiant group followed the mighty Mackenzie River. Unfortunately, the river emptied into the Atlantic Ocean and not the Pacific.
In his writings, Mackenzie called it the "River of Disappointment."
You know, many of us find ourselves paddling up rivers of disappointments of our own. We struggle and strain. We try to do worthwhile things, but we just don't end up where we expect.
This sinful world dictates most of us will face situations that look hopeless, and will get the better of us. That makes me wonder: was the hymn writer speaking directly to you when he asked, "Are we weak and heavy laden?"? Do you feel a need to reply in the affirmative when he suggests you might be "Cumbered with a load of care"? (The Lutheran Hymnal, 457, verse 3)
If so, you may also want to heed his suggestion to "Take it to the Lord in prayer."
Of course, that suggestion is nothing new. The Lord said much the same thing in Psalm 50. Scripture records God urging His people to "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." Now you should know God is not making an empty promise here.
After humankind fell into sin, the Lord set into motion the one and only plan that could rescue sinners from the terrible verdict that was sure to be pronounced on them when Judgment Day -- the ultimate day of trouble -- came. That plan which would deliver us was begun and finished in the Person of God's Son, our Savior: Jesus Christ.
Because of the Redeemer's work, His life, His suffering, and death, all who are given faith in Him find they have been delivered. No longer is hell their final and eternal destination. On the contrary, they are guaranteed a place in heaven where tears are not allowed and disease is a thing of the past.
With confidence we know that the Lord who has safely brought us through the river of trouble, can and will do the same, when we must travel some of the smaller rivers and streams we must navigate in this world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that You and not our troubles are in control of my destiny. May I give thanks for the Savior whose life was offered for my eternal deliverance. With Him by my side and in my heart may I courageously navigate life's rivers of disappointment. In Jesus' Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries