Not always what you expect.....
So, many times in our lives, we live in a way that is predictable. We seek advice, put plans in place and prepare in order that we can know what to expect. While that is very prudent in many ways, it can also be disheartening when we become convinced that the predicted outcome is a certainty.
This happened over and over again when people engaged with Jesus:
- The rich young ruler thought he had all it took to follow Jesus – yet when Jesus asked him to sell all he owned to follow him, his expectations were crushed.
- When the disciples asked who is the greatest, Jesus taught “for the one who is least among all of you, this in the one who is great.” This was a complete reversal of how they defined greatness.
- John tells Jesus “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does now follow along with us.” Jesus replied, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
Sometimes this happens in our own lives:
- We think we have what it takes and Christ shows us we are lacking.
- We think we understand greatness, success, happiness, security, love and Jesus shows us that our definitions are flawed.
- We think others aren’t ministering correctly because they are not ‘with us’ and then Jesus tells us not to hinder the work of others.
I know there are areas in my life in which I think I am well prepared and ‘have what it takes’ and then I am taught that I am lacking. I think I understand parts of life and find that my definitions are flawed. I believe that others are not ‘doing it right’ and Jesus reminds me that it is not up to me to judge.
Sometimes it’s not what you expect, but what you take away from the situation that is the greatest lesson. My husband’s grandfather had a saying: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take what comes.” When we live life following Christ, I think this is a good rule of thumb.