My husband and I spent February driving to and from Florida, away from New England cold.

A strong motivator for this trip was the relatively new Museum of the Bible in DC. Great reviews, and I badly wanted to experience it. Had it all planned out, down to the purchase of a parking slot—# 14 on G Street, near the museum. The museum hours were 10:00 to 4:00, so we left our hotel with plenty of time for the half-hour trip.

As we drove, tension crawled up my neck. Why was the GPS taking us in the wrong direction? I reprogrammed several times. No change. Finally, I tried the museum address instead of Parking Slot # 14 and was informed we had eighty-four miles still to go!

Given the time wasted, we couldn’t possibly make it back with enough time for the museum. Sadly, we gave up and headed south.

I grieved…deeply. Many tears. An enormous disappointment.

Today, I received a communication from friend Steve who has Multiple Myeloma, a serious cancer for which he underwent multiple chemos. He had gone to a scheduled appointment to plan for a promising stem-cell treatment. Instead, though—bad news. He still had too many cancer cells and would need more chemo.

Disappointment put in perspective—my small, mosquito-sized grief next to a raging tiger.

After the GPS fiasco, I did not ask, “Why, God?” as though I had a right to question Him. I did, however, poke around for what I might learn from it. God doesn’t arbitrarily dump grief on us for no good reason. Steve’s post today gave me my answer: whatever I learn in handling mosquito bites prepares me for the tigers that prowl my murky future.

I still have plenty of tears, but I’m trying to redirect them toward disappointments that matter.

Eleanor Gustafson

Eleanor Gustafson

An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor Gustafson

An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor Gustafson

Ellie Gustafson, a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make Scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story. In An Unpresentable Glory, a noted gardener from snobbish Westchester County in New York, finds a stranger, obviously ill, sprawled near her delphiniums. She takes him into her house and cares for him an entire week before learning who he is. An investigative reporter uncovers the secret week, and both Linda and her guest become a spectacle in the eyes of the world. More about An Unpresentable Glory; Dynamo; The Stones Amazon Page:; Twitter: @EgusEllie; Facebook: Ellie Gustafson.

2 thoughts on “Disappointments that Matter

Allacin Morimizu

April 1, 2019 - 11 : 37 : 24

I’m praying you two make it to the Bible museum and find it well worth the wait.


Linore Rose Burkard

April 1, 2019 - 18 : 22 : 47

Too bad about the museum, Ellie. I, too, tend to overreact to disappointments that don’t really matter, not in the big scheme of things. Thanks for the reminder.


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