Often my walk with Christ comes to a point I like to call “Growth Mode”. For everyone of these I’ve been through I falsely believe…surely I’m almost done and surely I’ve finally graduated.
Those of you that have been walking with Christ for a long time now are likely laughing. And I’ve been doing this thing called Christianity long enough to know wishful thinking versus reality. This is wishful thinking. And so long as I can stand outside of myself even for a brief moment, I become aware of how great that is. For the teacher to stop teaching would be depressing, right? And in full view of eternity…what are these temporal growth pains anyway?
What I have done many times in the past but hopefully not going to keep doing is hibernating during these moments. Concluding, perhaps falsely that I have to get through this next lesson before being worthy of leading, teaching, encouraging others. After all…how can we be such hypocrites as to encourage others whilst we still struggle? Or at least that is the line of lies I’ve bought into most often.
So this time I am going to share what’s going on. And this time it really is not overly painful or overly personal. It’s about disappointments. Ever experienced such a thing? Disappointment. For me it can be the “Aw shucks” variety that quickly fades once distracted or it can become the full force, overgrown, pity-party, defeated resignation.
Name a topic or a person. It’s likely I’ve experienced disappointment in them or it. Most recently as my entire family took ill with a wretched stomach bug I found myself frustrated with God Himself. Questioning why He was allowing this despite of my constant requests otherwise. Now if you are like me…you do this ever so cautiously with images of Job’s testing in the back of your mind begging NOT to endure the real fallen state of this world. And so priority one in my life gets out of whack! What happens after that? You guessed it. Everything else falls out of line, rather quickly.
Waiting on the Lord for an answer to my most recent gripes and disappointments, I ran across a YouTube video about Expectation. The gist? Expect nothing and everything becomes a blessing. Expect everything and live a life of disappointments. Of course there are caveats to this that make it more complex than simple but you get the general idea.
Often when I finally get an eye-opening message like this that I have been waiting on, I then think all is solved. And so I went on believing it so. Oops…disappointed again! How was that possible? Perhaps it's because knowing a concept and putting forth practical application are two different animals? I have not come through the other side of this yet. I still don’t have the kind of maturity it takes to go through every moment of life having zero expectation from God, you, myself, my wife, my co-workers, my children, my…
But I know now that much of this comes from the old man (the flesh). I need to let the new man take his place that Christ should live in me. Here's to practical application! Enjoy the journey.