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So, I wonder, would you say you have Great Expectations? If not great- how about just expectations?   I think we all have expectation about lots of things- don’t we?  We expect things to go a certain way, we expect things from people, from ourselves….. from God.

Would you say you have great expectation of our God? Do you expect good, even great things from our God who promises us not only good, but abundant living.

John10.10 300x110 Having Great Expectations in a Good God

And, I wonder, what happens when things, circumstances, life –  seem to fall short of our human expectations?

Do you experience disappointment, or get disgruntled with your life , with your circumstances… with God?

And how does all this affect our experience with God- who wants to have a vibrant relationship with us?

I know I’ve certainly found myself having great expectations in life only to come up staring major disappointment, even to the point of fear – right in the face.

Having survived breast cancer twice and a broken pelvis in a serious car accident over these last four years, I’ve experienced major disappointments, losses and derailed expectations.

BUT praise God – and for all the amazing support and prayers that held me up- I was able to hold onto my faith in a Good, actually not just a good, but a Great God who has promised me AND YOU hope and a future.

Jer 25.11 215x300 Having Great Expectations in a Good God

Yes, our God is Good even when our personal expectations come up short or even seem to slap us in the face.  During such times we need to remember HE is the plan maker, HE brings all things together for good .

romans 8.28 Having Great Expectations in a Good God

Yes, ALL THINGS together for good.  Even in the circumstances that temporarily seem to dash our hope, break our hearts and take us way off course of our own expectations. 

Recently, I’ve been kicked WAY Off course of my plans, my hopes, my expectations.

All I can say is YUCK!

It’s an awful place to be, but I have come to rely more and more on this tool for keeping hope.

And it’s to Remember.  Remember the great deeds of the Lord.

 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Psalm 77:11

I think back and remember, even list, the Goodness of the Lord during my past trials and tragedies.

And every time I come to this conclusion – He’s brought me through much in the past, He certainly is able to bring me through this latest trial. 

Yes, I have Great Expectations of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

Lately this verse, Psalm 27:13, this promise has been speaking to my heart and soul:

Psalm 27 13 300x221 Having Great Expectations in a Good God

Yes I will see His Goodness.

I will see him make beauty from ashes, streams in the wilderness and He will bring joy from mourning.

Beauty for Ashes Logo 300x163 Having Great Expectations in a Good God

 

He’s done it before and He will do it again. Yes, I have great expectation of Our Lord- how about you?

I believe we all have expectations – expectations for our life, for our children’s’ lives, for our days, weeks and years to follow.  We conjure up in our hopes and dreams what this will be like, what that will be like.

And in all our dreaming and expecting, my guess is sometimes we fail to remember that our Great God has His Plan for our life and as it unfolds it may not look  much like what we planned, dreamed of or hoped for.

 But that doesn’t make the plan any less Good or even Great- it just makes it different than we expected.  And sometimes that can be hard, very hard- when your plans, your hopes, your dreams do not go as expected.

Life will do that to you- throw you for a loop and when it does, what happens to your faith in a Good God you can trust with your life, even your expectations that seem to be ripping apart at the seams?

A dear friend of mine set me this short story of what can happen when big life expectations go awry.  In this illustration by Emily Perl Kingley – she is describing the experience of having a child diagnosed with a major illness or disability.  But I believe this poignant illustration can also depict the thoughts, emotions and life experience of anyone who finds themselves in a place or circumstance in life that they never expected and certainly never wanted.

As you read this story, see if you can relate to finding yourself in Holland when all you ever wanted was to go to Italy.

“I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”"Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”But there’s been a change in the flight plan.

They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.

It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books.  And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.”

Great Expectations.

God is there in all of it.

He’s in Italy, but He is also very much in your Holland.

Remain confident of this:

You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

You will- expect it.

In Service and Hope,

Karen

 

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