Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Alexander Mackenzie was disappointed. Born in 1763/4, he dreamed about the Northwest Passage even as a boy, hearing stories of failed attempts to find this passage that would lead to the Pacific. Then, he believed someone discovered the key: following a river that flowed westward out of Great Slave Lake, in what today is Northwest Territories, Canada.

In 1789 he journeyed more than a thousand miles down this river, hoping to find the passage. Instead, he arrived not at the Pacific but the Arctic Ocean. It seemed his efforts had been in vain.

On his perilous journey, he and his companions battled storms, rough seas, and cold. By naming the river Disappointment, Mackenzie made it clear how he felt. Later, he took a second trip but again failed to find the passage although he did reach the Pacific Ocean.

Mackenzie’s trips were important in ways he never anticipated. The Disappointment River was an important body of water and would eventually be named after him.

Mackenzie did not find what he was looking for, but his journeys were influential in other ways, even inspiring Thomas Jefferson to send Lewis and Clark on an expedition in 1804-05 that changed the map of North America.

Going through life, we, too, may experience disappointments, but the Bible urges us to trust in God. He promises to cause “everything to work together” if we love Him “and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).