Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great Expectations

I'm not sure what I expected. My family and I were able to enjoy three different firework displays over Independence Day weekend. Two of the shows were truly spectacular. The third? Let's just leave it at 'disappointing.'

There was a large crowd, food, and entertainment galore. I guess that set the stage for us to believe that the accompanying fireworks would be amazing. As the time drew near for the display to begin, we hurriedly set up our chairs in a parking lot close to the fairground. People were everywhere.

As darkness settled over the city, the sky lit up with the explosion of the first firework. After ten minutes, the sky became dark once again. Only brief flashes of light were visible on the horizon. People began packing up chairs and walking to their cars. Surely it couldn't be over?! A few minutes later, the sky overhead lit up once again. A grand finale several minutes later indicated the end of this year's display. We began the long trek back to our car, folding chairs in tow. After all of the build-up and hoopla, we were disappointed.

Ever been there? An event or a relationship is totally different than what you expected? Fortunately, it's not always a negative thing, it can also be a positive thing. Maybe you're not anticipating much, and then the experience or relationship far surpasses your expectations. It's like that with God. As believers, whatever our finite minds think He is, He is so much more!

The entire Bible gives us an accurate picture of our Creator. He is holy. A righteous judge. A loving Heavenly Father. We get a glimpse of His holiness in the book of Psalms, "Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy" (Psalm 99:9; KJV). He challenges us, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16).

His judgment is absolutely fair. "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day"(Psalm 7:9-11). When we repent, He is quick to forgive, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

The prophet Nehemiah shows us the love of our Savior, "...thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness..." (Nehemiah 9:17). David adds to the portrait, "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5). "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" (Psalm 103:8).

Feeling disappointed today? Look into God's Word for an accurate picture of the One who loves you. He is so much more than we can imagine and He alone is "...able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..." (Ephesians 3:20). Praise Him today, for He is worthy!


  1. Hi Maria, Today I feel like your post was written for me-how'd you know! Thank you for drawing spiritual truths from everyday life-you are truly a blessing from above.

  2. Maria, love the new pic. Beautiful lady, simply beautiful. :)

    I love reading Nehemiah. I often read that book throughout the year. I also love the way you describe reality and mix it in with the facts from God's word. Thank you, Maria!

    I truly love you. And God truly loves you. You are a blessing. *hugs*

  3. Yes, I have been disappointed in fireworkds displays before, too. A lot of fanfare that plays out quickly. I like your application of this to the Lord's blessings. Good post.

  4. I try not to go to God with any kind of expectations because he is so much bigger than I am and my expectations fit into a shorter term than the bigger picture God sees. Even now I find disappointments from my "distant" past being turned into blessings. Whenever I limit myself to big hopes for the now, I am frequently disappointed because the outcome that I see now is not always what I hoped for and it may take a while before I start seeing a part of the fullness of God's bigger picture.

    Tossing It Out

  5. Worthy, indeed.

    Your new profile picture is very fun and cute.


  6. Love that scripture in Ephesians! It's an excellent one to meditate on.

  7. Diana - He sure is!! Thanks for stopping by, friend! :)

    Noreen - It's so awesome to receive exactly what we need from the hand of our Creator! Thanks for the words of encouragement! You're a dear! Have a truly blessed day!

  8. Robyn - You're so gracious! Even though we've never met, you've got a special place in my heart - you and Christopher. I suppose that's the power of Christ in us - drawing us together in Christian love! Looking forward to stopping by your site today! God's richest blessings to you, my friend! :)

    Warren - So glad you stopped by! Speaking of fireworks, I have to say that we went out on the lake on the 4th and saw the most incredible display - in contrast to the disappointing ones a couple days before that. With fireworks, you just never can tell... Glad we can place our hope in a God who NEVER disappoints! God bless!

  9. Lee - So glad you stopped by and commented! I love to know what readers are thinking. Some pretty profound stuff in your case! So important to have 'the mind of Christ' and not to be limited by our thoughts. I'm grateful that God can and does use things from our past to bless us today. And you're wise not to focus too much on what's being played out now, as God is in control and sees the big picture and how it will all work together for His good! Thanks for sharing! God bless!

  10. Glenda - Great to hear from you! Thanks for the sweet comments about my new profile pic - my daughter took it! Have a blessed week, my friend!

    Karen - The passage in Ephesians is a favorite of mine - when I used to work @ the Miami Valley Women's Center (a pregnancy care center) in Ohio, I was in charge of fund-raising. At the time we were raising money for a new facility. I saw God provide miraculously and this verse came to life! Have a beautiful week, my friend! :)

  11. Maria...thanks for stopping by and I love that fact that you and your daughter had a bible study together! That's awesome! I think the link to the button is shabbyblogs.com Click on the button and it takes you to the page. Have a blessed day!

  12. LOVE your new pic Maria!! Awesome post...I think we tend to believe that just because our expectations aren't met...God has let us down or He didn't show up...we forget that the valley of pain and suffering seated Christ at the right hand of God. We need to be reminded that God will show up...He may not work in the way we expect...but it will be in His perfect way...in His perfect timing!
    Love to you sister!

  13. Hi Maria,
    I came over from 30 days of hearing God. You are so blessed to have seen three fireworks displays (though the last one was a disappointment!) God always gives a life lesson. It is so funny to me that I find your blog after starting running a little over 10 days ago, and posting on facebook my progress and adding "Life Lesson" to each post.

    God speaks so much in many ordinary things. I try to remember at least one each time I come home from running. I am going to connect to your facebook and add your blog to my list.

    Seems we are running the race together as my baby just graduated...look forward to getting to know you better!

  14. Hi Maria -

    I enjoy your analogies. They always set the gray matter on fire. :)

    One reason we get disappointed is we're looking for something other than God to fill the hollow places. No matter how much we love our families and friends, enjoy activities, and work, He made sure our desires could only be met by Him.

    Susan :)

  15. Steph - Thanks for the info about the button, I'll be checking it out tomorrow! Look forward to catching up with you! Have a blessed weekend! :)

    Cherie - Thanks for your kind words - you know how to make a girl feel good!! And a hearty 'Amen' to your observations on our expectations! Have a beautiful weekend and God bless you, my sister! :)

  16. Kathy - Welcome!! I am so blessed to have such sweet friends/followers!! What a coincidence that you labeled your posts as Life Lessons - love it! Sounds like we've got quite a bit in common from our love of the Lord, to exercising, blogging and graduates. Looking so forward to getting to know you! God bless! :)

  17. Susan - So good to see you, my friend! I hope the analogy about the fireworks didn't have anything to do with setting your gray matter on fire! Ha! Ha! On a more serious note, you're right about disappointment. With a God-shaped vacuum inside of us, only He is able to fill it and bring the satisfaction we crave! Thanks for the thoughts! Have a blessed weekend! :)

  18. Just found your blog. It is really nice.

    I just moved from Ohio to Texas last July 11th. It has been wonderful and disappointing.

    Sometimes God plan isn't what you think it should be or you don't understand it at the time. I am still wondering what it is. But I think that it is making my relationship with God stronger.

    Have a beautiful day.

  19. Amy - Welcome! So glad you stopped by and thank you for becoming a friend/follower! My husband and I lived in Ohio for eight years - in close proximity to his family. It was quite a transition when the Lord opened up the opportunity to move to GA - where there wasn't any family. But you are absolutely right in that we trust the Lord so much more when our 'security blankets' are taken away. True dependence on Him, follows! I'll be praying for you! God bless you! :)

  20. Thank you for this beautiful message. The Bible never disappoints.

    Have a great weekend!

  21. Jill - It's always good to see your smiling face! Have a beautiful weekend and enjoy His Word! God bless! :)