I was thinking a little bit this morning about expectations. We all have them. And I can't imagine that Jesus' disciples were exempt from having expectations. Of course, it's one of those things that you sort of have to speculate.
The speculation really isn't that far of a jump - even though Jesus told them with his own words that he would die and rise again the third day, the disciples couldn't believe it. (Matthew 16:21-23) You know how we are - always with the self made plans, always with the crazy hopes that our plans will prevail in the face of God's sovereign plan. We've seen it in ourselves and we can see it in all of Scripture - prophets and people of God hope through the end that their plans will be carried out instead of God's plans. Sometimes begging Him to follow this - our - plan.
Jesus came into town on a donkey and people formed lines to see him and shout "Hosannah!" and were very excited to call Him King. At the end of His triumphal procession, He went on a temple rampage and got rid of all the corrupt vendors. He healed people who came to Him, and the Pharisees were outraged when Jesus called them out in ways that no one else would dare. I'm sure the disciples thought they were going to be part of a gigantic political overthrow - it's really not that far of a leap, at least not logically. Sure, Jesus reminded them that He was about to be crucified, and even gave them a time frame, but it's hard being human. And it's really hard letting go of those expectations.
And then, a few days later, Jesus was dead, just like He promised. Talk about a roller coaster of highs and lows. I can't imagine experiencing that kind of confusion and disappointment. The things that went on in the disciples minds - well, I imagine they were conflicted. Wanting to trust the Savior and uncertain of their future, perhaps in fear for their lives - it must have been horrific.
Then, the resurrection. Jesus defeated death; the tomb was empty. He is ALIVE.
And suddenly the plans of God were made a little more clear. Jesus was who He said He was. The message of the gospel was validated. The disciples had a mission, and carried it out. They knew.
I know I have expectations, big and small. Of how things should be, of how much I should have to pay for something, of how elected officials should act, of which laws should be passed, of who should be allowed to live, of who should be brought to justice, of who should be advocated for. And sometimes my "plans" happen, and sometimes they don't. I'm not always okay with this.
But I need to be okay with this, because I am not God. I do not see things from His viewpoint; I do not know His plans. Sometimes I get to see a little glimpse of what He's doing. And that is - thrilling! He DOES promise that He loves us; He promises to take tender care of His children. He has proven Himself faithful.
A lot of times I don't know anything about His plan. He doesn't promise that I'll go through life without disappointment, without pain, without being witness to or victim of injustice and suffering, or that everything will be great. He doesn't promise the success of our nation, of our economy; in fact, He doesn't promise the success of anybody but Himself.
But there is something thing I can be sure of: God wins, and we will all worship Him.
In the end, God wins. And between now and the end, it's not about me or my plans, or my expectations. It's about God and HIS plan.
Does this mean I don't fight injustice, or stop advocating, or petitioning? Certainly not. Does it mean I just flop into a doormat or float along doing nothing to fight against evil? NO. But my foundation has to be sure. And my expectation has to be HIM. I have to trust, knowing that if God wants to use something I don't get, it is really okay. He hasn't forgotten. Nothing has escaped His notice. It is ok.
It is MORE than ok. He's Alive, He is Risen, He has conquered death and the grave. He has an awesome plan, beyond my wildest dreams. I am expecting Great Things.