Thankfulness for significance, intimacy, and … disappointment

Every person is born with a desire to do significant work and experience intimate relationships. Adam and Eve experienced this perfectly. Yet after eating the fruit, weeds made their work futile, and shame blocked their intimacy. Every human born after them faces core desires that are not fully met.

As the US is celebrating a thanksgiving holiday this week, friends and family will gather with desires for relationships to be experienced richly. By next Monday, there will be both memories of joy in rich relational moments as well as pain in unmet expectations. For Christians, the joyful memories give us a taste of what we were created for. The disappointments are also gifts from God. They remind us yet again that we are desperately dependent upon God for what we desire the most.

The taste of the good make the disappointments all the more painful. It may feel like a cruel joke to see deep desires met in part, then yanked away in disappointment. Yet the gift of knowing that our true desires are met by God partially in the present and beyond our wildest dreams in the future is worth the pain.

Thank you, God, for the joy we experience in relationships.

Thank you, God, for the disappointments that drive our hopes back to You.

Likewise, the quest for significant work sometimes creates odd messages in mission, ministry, and philanthropy. Donors may feel sometimes they are asked to live vicariously through the exploits of people ministering in exotic places with impressive crowds. In contrast, BGU is not a place where you only give to other people’s ministry, but it is a place designed to help you find your ministry, in your workplace, in your community, in your family, or in partnership with the BGU family in over 150 nations.

Donors, graduates, and students are invited to a lifelong journey of intentionally living their calling. BGU has many ways to help you better understand your gifts and calling along with proactive introductions to help you steward your call more effectively through BGU’s extensive relational connections throughout the world.

Yet, along with this hope of significant work to make a difference in the world is also the reminder that those who seek to make the most impact are likely to be the most disappointed. Not surprisingly, those who hold their desires most loosely empower others in ways that are surprisingly significant.

As we approach the year end, we like to invite you to donate to the BGU family. The BGU Board of Directors has provided a $40,000 challenge grant to encourage year end giving. Year-end donations are essential for the BGU family. I hope you see BGU as your family as a place to experience relational joy, significant impact, and … grateful disappointment. Please prayerfully consider a year-end donation HERE.

If you want more information about BGU’s training on giftedness, calling, theology of work or God’s work in cities, or if you are involved or want to be involved more in some of the 150 nations where BGU is active, I would like to discuss this with you. Please let me know HERE.

Brad Smith
Bakke Graduate University