We have all experienced this from those who are closest to us. It may happen anywhere-at school, the workplace, or within your family. It hurts because we think we know these people, relying upon them with certain high expectations. So when these expectations are shattered, it leads to a great deal of pain and feelings of betrayal. These feelings can quickly lead to anger.
Recently, an episode occurred when my expectations were deeply shattered. It was a difficult period as I wrestled with resentment and fighting my tendency to lapse into an attitude of seeking revenge. My bad feelings spilled over to my family life and I snapped at them over trivial matters. Things were spiraling out of control. I sought God in prayer and meditated upon His Word. But as soon as the Bible reading was finished and my prayers ended, the bad attitude and ungodly thoughts returned. I was unwilling to rest upon God’s promises. I was unwilling to let go.
I continued to pray to God for understanding, trying to make sense of all the situation. And in a moment, in His perfect timing on the third day, He showed me the truth. It was not about what the others did or how I could understand it and find meaning. It was not about what I had done for them and why they were seemingly ungrateful. It was all about God. The entire episode may have been motivated by selfish reasons or neglect, but God reminded me that we are all sinners. Even if I or the others had accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we still wrestle with our old sinful nature. It is a nature that continues to rear its ugly head. We do not become sinners when we sin, we sin because we are sinners. And for me to not accept this was placing myself ahead of the others. I had a “holier than thou” attitude.
Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?
Job 2:10 (NKJV)
God laid this truth upon my heart. Amidst Job’s suffering, he understood this painful truth. I was unwilling to accept this. Regardless of the reasons the entire episode transpired, God allowed it to happen. I could have spent days, even months, wrestling with this episode trying to find answers, but God did not ask me to do this. God was asking me to accept it and leave the situation in His control.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
As incomprehensible as this verse from the Bible seemed, God asked me to accept the situation so that He would bring forth His glory. And in so doing, He would continue to transform me into the image of His Son, learning to be obedient and trusting in His guidance.
Shattered expectations are always painful lessons in life. But my expectation that God needed to provide an explanation for my travails was the only one that needed to be shattered.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.