A couple summers ago, Erin brought home one of those Whamm-O brand inflatable pools. The front of the box depicted the pool, a very realistic painting of the alleged contents of the box. And on this box’s depiction, there were a dozen or so pre-adolescent kids merry-making in the summer heat in this pool. Flying down the slide, playing basketball in the pool, firing huge blasts of water from the water cannons… When I saw the box, I thought I would invite over every kid in the neighborhood for a pool party!
Then I opened the box.
This thing was the ultimate let down. The slide was barely a foot and a half long. The basketball was a little rubber inflatable thing, like what they make floaties out of, and was barely the size of a softball. The water cannons were sad little squirters. You could not have fit 3 Smurfs in the pool, let alone all those kids on the box.
Life is a lot like that sometimes, isn’t it?
We have high hopes, big dreams, great expectations… and we end up disappointed. Life just doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. I thought I would have a better job…make more money…have a bigger house…have better health…have more kids/no kids/less kids/cooler kids.
We all want comfort, peace, pleasure, and prosperity. The problem is not that we want these. In fact, we were built for these things.
The problem is this: we expect these things from the world. We all have a silly tendency at times to expect that the world is finally going to cash in and give us happiness. Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden is still his ploy: So we expect good things from the world.
We all have a silly tendency at times to expect that the world is finally going to cash in and give us happiness. Satan’s lie in the Garden of Eden is still his ploy: So we expect good things from the world.
But we have a world system that is manipulated by lies that ensnare us in Satan’s scheme. And that is the way Satan likes it: a world full of deceit and destruction seems to discredit the Creator who has sovereign control. (Tangent: When was the last time you heard Satan blamed for misery? Don’t we usually hear “if God is so good and loving, why is there so much misery in the world…?” Anyways...)
Reality check for us all: we are fallen people (but in Christ redeemed!), living in a world under a curse, surrounded by sinful people, and Satan himself is called the god of this world (until Christ returns to take it back).
So what should we expect from the world? If all this is true, why in the world do we get our hopes up?
Reality check for us all, continued: Jesus gave us some expectations in John 16:33: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Jesus promised that in the world, we will have trouble.
But what are “these things” He said would give us peace in Him? We’ll catch those next time.
For now, let’s examine our expectations. Are we bitter because things aren’t exactly as we think they should be? Or are we starting to get it…? Things will never be perfect here.
Oh sure, we are blessed, have much to be thankful for, and life is good! Yet things are not optimal by any means, and many weeks, there are more hard days than easy days. There is sickness, death, betrayal, disappointment, hurting, abuse, abandonment, and discouragement. And that's on a good day.
But when the LORD returns to restore all things, to make all things new (Revelation 21:5), then our expectations can change!
So in the meantime, we rest on the promises of Christ.
p.s. - totally would have invited you to that pool party