“During those days, everyone was gripped with messianic expectations, believing the Messiah could come at any moment …” –Luke 3:15 tPt
Perhaps some of them had been around long enough to remember the stir some thirty years back. The rumors. The rumblings that Messiah had been born in Bethlehem.
Sure, it had been quiet since then. But some of them … some of them remembered the excitement. Some of them remembered the expectations.
Others weren’t old enough to remember. Or they weren’t around to hear the buzz. Or maybe they just weren’t dialed in or interested enough at that time. But now … now something was stirring again. Rumors were flying. Expectations were at an all time high. It seemed like everyone, everywhere was expecting the Messiah to burst on the scene.
And He did.
But He didn’t look the way they expected Him to look.
He didn’t do what they expected Him to do.
He didn’t play by their rules.
God in human flesh walked this planet. He did amazing and miraculous things — spoke things no one had ever spoken, did what no one had ever done, understood what no one had ever understood, loved like no one had ever loved — yet most people walked away offended and disappointed because He didn’t follow their plan.
He didn’t meet their expectations.
Expectations are tricky things (as I previously wrote about here). God is always good and He is always doing good–but that doesn’t mean the good He is doing always lines up with our expectations. In fact, it rarely does.
I think that’s why He has been teaching us the difference between expectations and expectancy. Expectations are contingent upon an expected outcome, while expectancy is simply contingent upon God being God.
And God is always good.
As we approach a new year, once again there is something stirring.The buzz is unmistakable.There is a rumbling in the air. Hope is beginning to rise. People are talking.There is a definite shift taking place. Expectations are at an all time high. People everywhere are expecting Him to burst on the scene.
I believe He will.
But He won’t necessarily look the way we expect Him to look.
He won’t necessarily do things the way we expect Him to do them.
He definitely won’t play by our rules.
God in human flesh is walking the planet–right here and right now. In you. In me. In us. And I think that–finally–we’re about (to begin) to learn what that really means.
I think we are on the brink of learning to walk in the amazing and miraculous things He prepared beforehand for us to walk in–that we’ll learn to speak like we’ve never spoken, do what we’ve never done, understand what we’ve never understood, and especially, that we’ll learn to love like we’ve never loved.
But here’s the deal, It will look and feel differently than anything we might imagine.
And when it does, I hope and pray we won’t walk away offended or disappointed.
Because while He may not do things exactly as we might be hoping or expecting Him to do them …
It will be good.
It will be so wonderfully, gloriously, and amazingly good.
Because He is good. He is wonderfully, gloriously, amazingly–and unpredictably–good. And what He has in mind is far above anything we can ever …
May that knowledge fill us all with great expectancy.
Father, thank You for new years, new seasons, new beginnings … and for a great sense of expectancy for what’s to come. Thank You, Lord, for beginning to awaken our hearts to the beginning of the the beginning of the coming of Your Kingdom. Teach us Your ways Lord– help us to see with spiritual eyes, to hear with spiritual ears, and to not despise the day of small beginnings. This year grant us the grace to be fully satisfied with the abounding blessings that surround us right now, while at the same time awakening and stirring our hearts to press on to lay hold of everything You’ve promised. Help us to hold loosely to our own ideas and ideology as we embrace the new things You’ve promised. Your kingdom come, Lord, Your will be done–in my life, my sphere of influence, in my community, my country and in the world around us–just as it is in heaven. May this truly be a year of faith (beginning) to become sight as we learn to trust in Your unfailing goodness more and more. ~Amen.