I once heard it said that "disappointment comes when expectations exceed experience". I think that's true. You know how great it feels when something (good) unexpected happens. It might be getting an extra $20 in a paycheck or the item you wanted to buy is half off or something. Even when bad things happen that you are not expecting don't sting as bad - usually. But when you get your hopes up for something, and then it doesn't happen - it hurts. I can get this way with some pretty stupid things. Like Panthers games or maybe a raise at work. It's pretty silly really. When we look at ourselves and our lives in light of what we deserve how can we ever say that we are not doing well? The same man that I heard the above quote from also said this. When he is asked "how are you doing?" his usual response is "I am doing better than I deserve". And that is profound. Because in light of my own sinfulness... selfishness, pride, arrogance, covetousness, idolitry, etc.... what I actually deserve is death. I deserve for the house to fall apart, I deserve the car repairs. If I lived in a perfect world... Don't get me wrong - I enjoy God's grace every day. I enjoy His saving grace, but His 'common' grace we all enjoy. How often have I prayed "Lord I ask for You to cover my lack. Not just where I know I fall short, but in those every day things that I even do not know about." We all need His saving grace... but we all enjoy his 'common' grace - if we know Him or not. This morning I found myself praying to God, asking Him to lessen my desire for those things that I feel disappointed about. I asked for Him to help me not to expect things that my own experience has told me is unlikely. I have asked that He show me where those things have become idols - where I am searching the gift out more than the Giver. Even the 'good' things that are gifts from above. It is not the gifts we should pursue - but the giver. And when we get to enjoy the gift... to be like the lepper who returned and fell at the feet of Jesus. Give thanks and worship to the one who provides all things, good and bad, not just to give them - but to draw us closer to Him and help us to conform into the image of Jesus who is without spot or blame. Updates: none Verse for today: Matthew 7 : 7-11, ESV “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!


Susan said...

I LOVE that response, "I'm doing better than I deserve." Grace is an amazing thing, isn't it? But, having expectations not met can sting no matter how thankful we try to be.

Hoping that all is well with you today.

samurai said...

Thank you. :) And to you as well.