I heard someone say this morning that when we've grown accustomed to disappointment, we take the posture of disappointment. He called this form of expectation "resentment waiting to happen."
I thought, how true.
How true it is that we have this lofty idea of how things ought to be or should be or might be and when it pans out differently, we are crushed? I have said more times than I care to count (usually some evening in a kayak on a river at home) "I'm just done expecting anything of God because He either doesn't hear or He doesn't answer." This became the number one reason for the unraveling of my faith in the past year.
I asked, God answered (usually no), and I pulled out the resentment that I'd been saving in my back pocket.
This week, as I've been thinking about faith, I've been trying to be mindful of where my faith rests. I don't want it just IN God, I want it in specifics of His character, otherwise it's too easy to get derailed when the picture I have of Him fails.
It's easy to have specific expectations of people; we know exactly what we want from them, ask us, we'll tell you. And I think we can even articulate what we want of God as well, but when we talk about putting our faith in something else besides the accomplishment, we're talking about putting it in God's character. This is a more difficult matter altogether.
His faithfulness feels far off.
His goodness feels misplaced.
His love feels earned.
His peace feels confused.
His healing feels prolonged.
It is so, so, so difficult to remember Who He Is.
Regardless of What He Does.
If you came to faith because you were promised a wonderful plan for your life, or you felt you needed a life change, or you were sure that He would be the answer to your issues, good. He is and does all of those things. But I guarantee that someday soon that plan will feel afar off, your life will feel unchanged and your issues will raise their ugly heads. And I pray it's sooner than later. (You're welcome.)
But if we come to faith each day, every day, and if our faith grows each day, every day because of Who God Is, I can promise you that all of those hard, hard things will still happen, but you will not find yourself failed, pulling resentment out of your back pocket.
The thing is, God does not owe us anything. He doesn't.
He IS. And that is enough.