The surest way to disappointment is to have expectations of things, people, God, and life. Because almost nothing turns out quite as we expected.
But isn’t that somehow the beauty of life?
I know that sometimes the unexpected is tragic and ugly and painful, inviting deep sorrow and depression into our lives.
The truth is that when we say that “God can do anything—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Eph 3:20 MSG) there are no parameters on what is included in those “imaginations and wildest dreams.”
Sometimes my imaginations are glorious, sometimes my wildest dreams are truly wild and horrific. Sometimes we expect the absolute worst and fear invades our dreams, corrupting them with worry and anxiety.
Not that I’m saying for a second that God makes good and bad things happen to us. I don’t believe that.
But I do believe that beyond what happens to me, The Divine works in me. And that is probably the truest and most sturdy expectation we can have.
“When things don’t go your way, from the small to the tragic, look to the healing, look to the love, expect the divine to be with you. Because that is where he is.”
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Don’t stop expecting good things. Don’t stop dreaming about tomorrow and the next day and what they hold for you and yours. But hold them lightly; hold them with grace. Because the unexpected will inevitably happen, and many of our expectations will remain unmet.
All bar one:
Love endures through it all.
And of course, Anne Shirley couldn’t be more right:
“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,” exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
When things don’t go your way, from the small to the tragic, look to the healing, look to the love, expect the divine to be with you. Because that is where he is.
And when expecting the unexpected, you can expect the pleasure of his presence in and through it all.
Written by Liz Milani