For many of us, it seems that our expectations are rarely met by the people in our lives or even by God.
This word seems to have generally negative connotations.
Yet, what if there was one expectation that appeared to not be met… yet was met in a much deeper, more powerful, more intimate way?
What if the expectation of one group of people was not met, yet the end result (what they weren't expecting) was so much more life-changing?
Yesterday my husband shared with our church a completely new [for me] perspective on Matthew 21:1-11. This passage is a fairly popular one, as it records the time when Jesus enters Jerusalem shortly before His death. He enters sitting on a young donkey, and the crowds surrounding Him praise His name and create a carpet of branches for Him to ride through on.
Yet somehow… this is not what they expected.
For hundreds of years, the Jews expected their Messiah - their Saviour - to come riding on a white horse, ready to lead them to victory against their enemies.
Jesus appears riding a small, young, inexperienced, probably dirty, donkey.
He appears as a servant. He appears as a friend. He appears as one of us.
This is the last way that the people in that time and culture would have expected Him to appear - yet through that appearance He showed that He came in peace. He showed that He came in love.
While some people may have been shocked to see Him, the King of Kings, appear riding a donkey, this was His great plan all the time! In the Old Testament it was prophesied that the King - the Messiah - would come riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). He did not do things according to His people's plans - He did things according to His plans. Jesus is the King that doesn't do everything the way we expect.
This blows me away. While earthly kings do not generally reach out for deep friendships with their subjects and servants, my Heavenly King Jesus defied all expectations so that He could be my (and your!) Friend.
My challenge from this?
To remember that God simply knows better: this is why He is in control - not me! If I did have control of everything in my life, what would I do, anyway?! My limited, human, lame expectations that I (whether consciously or subconsciously) place on God are nothing in comparison to what He actually has planned.
I pray that my perspective would change; that I would remember that my unmet expectations are probably going to be overshadowed by something so much greater than I could ever imagine - something planned for my life by Jesus, the King of Kings.