I used to be an ER groupie. I know I'm dating myself a bit by saying so. In my mid to late 20's when I lived in Fort Worth, a couple of girlfriends and I would pow wow on Thursdays to faithfully watch George Clooney (AKA Dr. Ross), Dr. Lewis, Dr. Carter and Carol Hathaway live out their medical dramas. Did I mention we watched George Clooney?
When you have most of your life ahead of you, it's normal to envision how it might turn out. Whether intended or not, it seems that the human heart is wired for expectations. I know my friends and me presumed that life might have its maladies but that God would come through to save the day like the doctors on ER did on many occasions.
The longer I live, the more I experience the reality that misplaced expectation is the root of disappointment in my relationship with God and people. I think of my friends and me. We've had our griefs that none of us would have ever chosen, like family members who have yet to turn to Christ, miscarriages, a debilitating stroke, untimely deaths of loved ones, singleness, moving out of a dream home to down size, divorce, children with learning disabilities, and chronic pain.
To be sure, there have been many celebrations in life if I were to add them up for my friends and me like 10 years and counting of a godly marriage, children who are thriving, publishing a Bible study, family members who love well, recovery from physical struggles, friendships that are rich, travel adventures, and more.
Because life and God are unpredictable, it does all come back to the good deposit of wholeness that God is making in our hearts as we know Him through the ups and downs of living in a broken world. One expectation our hearts can know for certain is that unlike the ER docs who may or may not save a life, God saves THE DAY. I realized recently that Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." isn't just saying, as I have often thought, that we can simply find joy in each day. Sometimes the difficulties of a day seem to stink when expectations are dashed by disappointment or a painful turn of events.
I discovered that when I looked at the two verses preceding verse 24, I had a different take on it. "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice in it and be glad." God has saved THE DAY by pouring out His beloved Son on our behalf. No matter what happens on our journeys, this reality brings healing to our hearts including the tendency to misplace expectations. It is also the source of our rejoicing and gladness as we experience God's restoration personally and pour out on behalf of the hearts of others.
1 week ago