Friday, December 7, 2007

Expect to be surprised

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Have you ever received a gift at Christmas that you really weren't sure what to think about? You had your heart set on something and then opened up a gift and it was not what you were hoping for. One of those gifts that you smile nicely, but internally you are thinking "Hmmm....is there a receipt in here somewhere? Is it possible to return this? Can I return this without offending?" A gift that just went completely against your expectations?

What about all the craziness leading up to Christmas? Do you set expectations that everything will be just so? Unrealistic expectations in part: the kids will attentively listen (and comprehend) the nightly devotions. The tree will remain perfectly decorated and ornaments will not be found hiding in various parts of the house. Making cookies with the kids will be a bonding experience - not one where it would be easier to whack your head on a brick wall.

Life in general does not always go according to our expectations. Reading again about Mary and Joseph and then thinking about expectations that they might have had - and the things they didn't expect to happen made me start thinking. Mary wasn't exactly expecting a pregnancy (and a virgin one at that!). Mary didn't expect to be the mother of the MESSIAH! I'm sure that they didn't envision baby Jesus being born in a stable (the birth plan she had in place went out the proverbial window). The shepherds probably weren't expecting to be startled by a choir of glorious angels. The wise men - searched and searched and then had to sneak out of the country (again, probably not in their initial plans). Jesus went completely opposite in most ways to what everyone expected. What they anticipated.

It's so easy to get caught up in how we want things to be. How we desire things to turn out. To set our expectations and then be crushed in the process. We can't always expect things to turn our the way we want - BUT we don't have to lose our joy in the process. We can't expect everything we wish for to happen - but we might end up with more than we ever dreamed or expected. We can expect that God will always keep his promises to us - no matter what the situation is that we are in. He WILL heal our hurts. He DOES hear our cries. He LISTENS when we call. He GIVES exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. He is ALWAYS with us. He NEVER leaves us. He LOVES us. That will never change. We can expect that and never be disappointed.

2 comments:

  1. Wow...what a great reminder. I can definitely get caught up in how I expect things to be and then be disappointed when things don't go how I thought they would, yet how many times in my life have things not gone at all how I planned and my socks have been blown off with how God has planned every detail and blessed us so much.

    Great Post Jo!

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  2. Loved this, girl. So thought-provoking...and challenging to me, as I JUST tried to get Christmas pictures of the girls...and found myself getting so frustrated b/c they weren't doing it 'right'. I'm a dork.

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