Unmet Expectations

Unmet Expectations

Many years ago, I found myself struggling with a number of challenges. I would cry out to God multiple times through the day for Him to bring relief to my struggle. But, despite the amount of times I cried out for help, despite the fact that I was still practicing healthy spiritual disciplines and living a (relatively) upright life before Him, it felt like my cries went unanswered. My expectations of God did not match my experience of Him. In despair, I found myself adding a caveat to my cries for help: “…if you’re even real?”

What do we do when God doesn’t meet our expectations of Him? The story of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem at the start of Holy Week highlights this exact challenge. The crowd who passionately celebrated his arrival with shouts of “Hosanna!” had expectations of who Jesus was and what he would do. And, when he failed to meet those expectations, the crowd’s passionate shouts of “Hosanna” soon turned to “Crucify!”

But, in the story of Scripture and the life and works of Jesus, there is an invitation. It’s an invitation founded on love and framed by trust. God’s love for us is so immense, so deep, so all-encompassing that He came and gave His life so that we could be reconciled to Him. And, His love invites us to trust that even though He doesn’t do what we think He should, even though we struggle with the challenge of unmet expectations, He is indeed acting for our good and His glory. He may not always do what we want but will always provide what we need. Even when we don’t understand, He invites us to trust that He is at work and that “He works together all things for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

The crowd that Easter Week were calling for a Saviour.  Jesus came to save them.  But, just in a way that was very different yet so much more significant than they ever imagined.  As author Max Lucado writes, “Unmet expectations are tough when it’s your wife or husband, but really tough with it’s God.  And yet, it can be a time of growth and a time of faith, a time of understanding who God is.”

May this Easter be a time when we remember God is for us, He loves us and is always with us even when we don’t see it.  May we all meet God afresh in the midst of our unmet expectations.