Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Disappointment. This is exactly how Alexander Mackenzie reacted. It was 1789, and he had journeyed more than a 1,000 miles down a mighty river, hoping to find the long-sought-for Northwest Passage. But instead of arriving at the Pacific, he ended up in the Arctic Ocean. It seemed that his efforts had been in vain.

Born in 1764, Mackenzie had been thinking about the Northwest Passage for years. As a boy, he heard stories about how others had failed to find this passage. He believed a man named Peter Pond had found the key: A large river that flowed westward out of Great Slave Lake, in what today is Saskatchewan, Canada.

On his perilous journey through uncharted territory, he and his companions battled storms, rough seas, and ice. By naming the river “Disappointment,” Mackenzie made it clear how he felt. Later, he took a second trip of exploration but again failed to find the passageway.

Although Mackenzie didn’t know it, because of his trips he would be praised and honored by generations to come. His efforts would be studied, and the Disappointment River turned out to be an important body of water that eventually would be named after him (the Mackenzie River).

Although Mackenzie did not find what he was looking for, his journeys were influential in many other ways. His book about his adventures was read by Thomas Jefferson and helped inspire Jefferson to send Lewis and Clark on an expedition that changed the map of North America.

As we go through life, we too may experience disappointments, or various “problems and trials” (v. 3). As we do, Paul encouraged us to remember not to feel discouraged, afraid, or disappointed. We can be confident God is able to use any circumstance to change our lives…to teach and mold us…and to accomplish His purposes.