Unexpected Expectations



The shifting of seasons is upon many of you, and yet here in the South we stand at a balmy 80 degrees! Worry not, I have still opted to wear sweaters and scarves in exchange for purchasing higher quantities of deodorant and receiving suspicious looks from the locals.  Nothing will steal my joy this season!

On October 31st as I stopped into our local gas station my eyes were assaulted by two humongous Christmas trees on either side of the entryway.  I will spare you the dialogue of the irony on Christmas decorations and celebrations that are void of Christ….I think you know where I stand on that and so I want to zoom in on something that I was thinking about that is a bit more beneficial.

So then as the season quickly approaches for celebrating the Lord’s birth (yet we celebrate Jesus every day)… I was thinking about how the Lord is full of surprises and plans that are beyond our imagination and grasp.  Not long ago I had a light bulb moment regarding how very little we understand what God does the moment it happens, and yet these very things are seen clearly in hindsight.  The Lord Himself rarely does anything in a way we think would be quite obvious and plain.  He is a God of many mysteries and His knowledge is superior, and thus He does not reason and plan in the ways that humans do.  Many times when His plans unfold it leaves us breathless, beside ourselves, and absolutely in awe of His ways.  The Apostle Paul describes this very revelation of God’s superior ways in Romans 11:33.  “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!”

When God moves His ways defy our simple logic.  I have often thought around this time of year how strange it must have been to Mary to receive the news that she was to carry God’s beloved Son, who is God.  Apart from that if we were to go by simple human logic, then surely He would be born in luxury and want for nothing, after all He was descending from the heavenlies.  And yet that wasn’t to be the case.  I wondered if Mary grappled with expectations or if she simply accepted in all ways to trust God in each moment leading up to His birth?  Did she expect that God would allow her to deliver His son in  a simple stable? 

And you see that many times our expectations of how God should do something or what His plan are for us turn into something completely different than we expected.  And in all such cases- different is better when He is in it….

I say all of this to say that whatever it is God is planning for your life may look completely different than what you expected and if it truly is, will you still accept it?  Will you fall back into His merciful and compassionate arms and relinquish what you thought ought to be,  in exchange for the marvelous plans He dreamed for you?

As we head into the last segment of this year we could let go of our humanly expectations and stand in awe of what He has already done and rest in what He has for us even yet. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  ~Ephesians 2:10


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