He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. John 1:10 (NLT)
Has God ever shown up in your life in a way you didn’t expect Him? Disguised by disappointment and pain, you may have even felt abandoned by God, when He was right there in the midst of it all. One of the most difficult things in life to do is to yield our expectations to God. We can put our hopes and dreams in what we expect to happen and miss what God wants to do in the process.
Even those whom Jesus called to follow Him struggled with their own expectations of a Messiah. They longed and looked for a Messiah to deliver them from the tyranny of Rome and establish an independent Israel as in the days of King David. They looked for a Savior for sure, but a suffering Savior was not what they expected. Somehow, they missed that description in Isaiah’s prophecy until after the fact. They were expecting the prophecies like,
… the government will be upon His shoulders and His government and its peace will never end.
They loved the prophecy that said,
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David for all eternity. Isaiah 9:6, 7 (NLT)
James and John were so convinced of these expectations that they even asked Jesus one time if they could sit on His right hand and left hand when He brings in the Kingdom of God! But Jesus said to them,
“You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.” Mark 10:38-39 (NLT)
They didn’t know what they were saying at the time, but they would later understand when they yielded their expectations to God. Are you putting your hopes in your expectations or in God? His purposes are so much greater than anything we could possibly expect, and His ways are beyond our understanding. It is so freeing when we abandon our expectations, dreams, and desires and simply put our trust in Him to be God. When you do, you will recognize Him in ways you never had before.