Hubby and I took a trip today to his favorite store the other day, Steinmart. He needed some new shorts. The weather forecast called for a high in the 90s with crazy humidity, and a super high heat index. Seems to me, it was the perfect day to buy shorts.
Upon arriving in the store, we split up, Greg to the men’s section and me to the ladies. I thought getting some new shorts was a great idea, too, so off I went. But where were they?
I turned this way and that, trying aisle after aisle, display after display. No shorts. Hmmm. What I did find were heavy sweaters, tons of longs pants, long sleeved shirts and dresses. Hats and scarves and hefty jackets galore, not to mention boots and closed-toe shoes as well.
I finally found a salesperson to ask and was quite surprised when she said, perhaps with just a bit of a head shake and attitude, “No shorts because we have the fall and winter clothing out now.” What? I simply couldn’t resist my follow-up comment “Because we need all of that clothing for our two weeks of fall, don’t we!” (Yup, I really did say that before walking away.)
What was I expecting?
Hard to believe, but this November marks our 20-year anniversary of moving to Florida. I really should have known better. If Hobby Lobby can put out their Halloween and Christmas items in July (oh yes, they did!), then of course Steinmart is allowed to think we have more than two seasons, put their shorts away, and load up on the bulky, cold weather items.
I also have to admit I really dislike clothes shopping so I rarely go. My clothes have to become really ragged before I’ll venture into the clothing department to try to spruce up my wardrobe. So, in my defense, I really didn’t know how much fall/winter clothing was and that it shows up in the stores in early August! And that explains why I truly was surprised that day when there were no shorts in the ladies’ department and very few in the men’s.
What happens when our expectations aren’t realized?
Thinking back on that recent shopping trip reminded me yet again about expectations. They can be so tantalizing: when you’re anticipating a special gift for Christmas, when you’re awaiting the birth of your first child, when going to your favorite restaurant and you’ve already planned what you’re eating weeks before you arrive. All carry an exhilarating expectation of what is to come and that makes the wait, however long, so thrilling.
But very often, our expectations aren’t realized. Something happens to change the outcome of what we were looking forward to. A sour stomach of dread now replaces the thrill of anticipation. Our hopes are dashed. Our disappointment intense.
Is there an answer to dealing with unrealized expectations?
Of course, there are answers and they have to do with trusting God with our lives. They have to do with believing His has good plans for us. And that God has everything under control.
The more mature we become in Christ, the more we’re able to deal with the disappointments in life. To understand that while those situations may catch us by surprise, God is never caught off guard by what happens or fails to happen.
Do we experience disappointment? Yes. Do we get hurt? Also…yes.
But what about hope? Can that remain? You betcha!
God is Trustworthy
God’s Word is full of reminders about keeping our eyes on God, trusting in His ways, and in waiting for Him to bring the right answer or resolution.
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)
The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. (Proverbs 10:28)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
No matter our present circumstances. Whether we’re relishing in anticipation of an upcoming event or if we’re experiencing disappointment in an unexpected outcome, hold on to the One who holds all your tomorrows in His very capable hands.
Easy? Sometimes…but many times NOT. Rest knowing this: God is faithful to His beloved. He’s got your present and your future. No matter what you see or what you feel, He is completely trustworthy and He completely and fully loves you.
Love to all,