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Posts Tagged ‘when God doesn’t meet expectations’

The photo captured my attitude. Sitting at the kitchen table while my three-year-old brother tore cheerful, striped wrapping paper from his gift, I looked as forlorn as any jealous preschooler might–my sulky expression conveying the thoughts I knew I had no right to express.

Why should he have that toy? I want it! I knew he was the favorite.

Fast forward through the decades and you’ll catch a glimpse of my continued struggle with envy.

As a teen? I envied the pretty girls with boyfriends and happy families. In my twenties? I coveted the relationship my sisters had with the father I didn’t have the opportunity to know as a little girl. In my thirties? Jealousy surged when I thought of other young moms who stayed at home while I struggled to balance my husband’s deployment schedule with four children, three square meals and one demanding job.

While the objects of envy seem to alter across life's timeline, I'm not yet immune to the pinprick of unmet expectations.#contentment#problemwithcomparison#letsgetrealseries Click To Tweet

While the objects of envy seem to alter across life’s timeline, I admit I’m not yet immune to the pinprick of unmet expectations.

I expected to be a stay-at-home mom with a plate of cookies and a glass of lemonade at the ready.

I expected to raise children in a home filled with Christ, certain they would know and love Him.

I expected to love my children so well that I could guarantee “normal” only to discover that depression, anxiety, and addiction don’t play favorites.

I expected to keep a spotless home without smudges on the front windows or furniture worn thin by impromptu fort-making.

In many ways, I expected God to come through. To present my longings and desires all wrapped up with a pretty bow as if they represent His love for me.

I expected God to come through.To present my longings and desires all wrapped up with a pretty bow as if they represent His love for me.#unmetexpectations#notSantaClaus#letsgetrealseries Click To Tweet

One of scriptures most beloved stories is that of the prodigal son. You may recall that the wayward son had returned home after realizing his desperate need for the Father. For forgiveness. For restoration. But, instead of rejoicing in his brother’s return, the older son was overcome with envy. Unrighteous comparison. Ungodly anger. Unholy resentment.

I’ve been the ‘older brother’ and just as the father did with his offended child, God patiently reminds me. “‘Daughter, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours.” (Luke 15:31)

Let that word, everything, resonate deep in your heart. Friend, He isn’t holding back or holding out. He doesn’t match up, size up, or stack us up against another. Our incomprehensible inheritance will outlive, overwhelm and surpass every unmet desire or expectation. It will extend beyond that which we can imagine for eternity.

He isn't holding back of holding out.He doesn't match up, size up, or stack us up against another.Our inheritance will outlive, overwhelm and surpass every unmet desire or epxectation.#godsbiglove#holyinheritance#nomoreenvy Click To Tweet

What, then, does the Father’s everything include?

  • His name. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
  • His position. (Ephesians 2:6)
  • His spirit. (Ephesians 1:14)
  • His home. (John 14:2-4)
  •  His life. (1 John 5:11)
  • His blessing. (Ephesians 1:3)

Oh, how the beauty of everything casts its shadow across the temporary of today’s envy. May we be reminded of our heavenly inheritance when envy attempts to squelch our contentment.

I’ve created this beautiful “Resentment to Contentment” downloadable for you. Just print and display, tuck in your Bible, or share with a friend.

Resentment to Contentment Social Media GraphicResentment to Contentment Downloadable PDF

Peace and grace, Tammy

 

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If we can trust Him with eternity, let's trust Jesus with our today

What happens when God doesn’t meet our expectations? When we’ve slipped a toe into the edge of the Jordan and suddenly we’re neck-deep in the river–disillusioned and doubting the call of the One who promised us beauty…bounty…blessing on the other side? What happens when our hopes or dreams are dashed against the rocks–shattered and floating further from our reach?

Do we blame Him for letting us down…for leaving us–struggling to manage the rushing water as we’re dragged somewhere unknown and unanticipated?

Instead of trusting that our Rescuer has already journeyed into the depths for us, do we give in to the pull of the current. Drifting. Doubting. Denouncing Him in our inability to see clearly from this side of the river to the other.

Maybe you’re at the place in your journey where nothing rattles your beliefs or sends you reeling–wondering if the God of scripture sees you…hears you…loves you. No matter the size of the Jordan, you trust Him to carry you across.

I’m not that grown up in my faith.

At times, I’ve been overwhelmed by the dark waves. Smashed against the river bottom. Sputtering for air. Shouting my doubts into the mist. Because suffering? It hurts. And sometimes I’ve felt like I’m drowning even in my living.

Some of you have shared about the Jordan your crossing right now. Cancer. Anxiety. Death. Divorce.

Pain so big it’d be easy to lose sight of the largeness and power of God. My heart aches for that journey you’re taking right now–the one causing fear unequaled. Feelings of aloneness. Deep soul-sorrow.

Can I remind you? He is El Roi–the God who sees.  He is Yishmael–the God who hears. He is Adonai–the God who loves you. And He is the God who walks on the water–right next to you…reaching out for your hand…and reassuring, “It’s me, don’t be afraid.”

If we can trust Jesus with eternity, let’s trust Him with our today–even as we totter toward the beckoning hand over the next wave.

Scripture for Reflection

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.

Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.

But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”

 He said, “Come ahead.”

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!” (Matthew 14:22-23, MSG)

 

Thought to consider:   In what area of your life is Jesus calling you to “come ahead”.

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