If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I’m more and more convinced that one formidable enemy of the good is misplaced expectation. This is probably true across the board, but I’m thinking of the spiritual life of a Christian, or the spiritual lives of Christians.
I’ve lived as a Christian several decades, and from early on was inundated with “deeper life” teachings. And I’ve witnessed some of emphasis on the Spirit in individual lives and in the church. And I’ve partaken of a few unusual experiences and participated in some of that myself. And we all as Christians have experienced the closeness of the Lord, which I believe is actually something for us daily, but probably not in the way we expect.
I want to say and even emphasize that it’s of the utmost importance for us to dial down and accept the ordinary. That most of our lives are going to seem mundane, boring, lonely, difficult, etc., you fill in the blanks. As soon as we get away from ideals, immediately we’ll be better off. We’ll then and only then begin to be able to appreciate the good from God that’s right in front of us, and actually everywhere. Until then we’ll miss the good that’s right in our face.
Scripture doesn’t present an easy, feel good existence. Just begin to read on almost any page. But as the psalmist says, Scripture as God’s written word not only can keep us grounded, our feet on the ground so to speak, but can actually be our delight even in the midst of the ordinary and difficult aspects of real life.
When we realize that our expectations are simply unmet, then we’ll be able to see and accept the actual blessings God is giving us, but not until then.
Am I suggesting that God can’t bless the socks off of us, of course to not only bless us, but bless others through us? Of course not. But only as we accept the reality of our own brokenness, that the kingdom in its fullness, while present now in Jesus by the Spirit is yet to be fully present in the finished transformative way. Until then, we’re set up for disappointment and disillusionment.
Which is why we need to remain in God’s word, in Scripture, so that God’s Word, Christ himself can touch and begin to transform us now. Yes, in the midst of the ordinary and difficult. In and through Jesus.