God, have you lost Your senses? I’ve muttered those words. Mary has too. We know, because the gospel of Mark tells us,
When His family heard… they went to take charge of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind’. — Mark 3:21
God, are You crazy? There are those times when life doesn’t make sense, when all our expectations are shattered, and we wonder, we doubt, we question, we wrestle with this God who refuses to conform to who we want Him to be. God, are You really out of Your mind? We think so when we’ve prayed and prayed and the opposite thing happens, when we’ve trusted and obeyed and things just get worse. I’ve been there. Mary’s been there. Maybe you have too.
Have you walked that shadowed valley where truth is tainted with unmet expectations, where doubts are colored by old paradigms not yet broken, not yet remade? Perhaps you’ve read the promises and believed them. You’ve had faith, you’ve waited, you’ve trusted. And yet… It seems that God Himself has lost His mind, because the truth you believe does not result in the life you expect.
Who is this God?
And what do we do when He isn’t the God we’ve expected Him to be? Life doesn’t turn out as we expect. God doesn’t turn out as we expect. So we think He’s crazy. Maybe the Messiah has lost His mind. We need to set Him straight. We need to explain to Him the type of God He’s supposed to be. Sounds silly when we say it that way. But when our expectations are broken, we often look at God as if something’s wrong with Him. We lose faith because He hasn’t lived up to our expectations, He hasn’t conformed to our image of Him, He hasn’t acted according to our ideas of what’s right and good.
So what do we do when life as we experience it clashes with our expectation of what life should look like, how God should act on our behalf?
We glimpse God’s dream for us, we surrender our own dreams, and then our expectations paint a glorious picture of everything wondrous that life will be. But it isn’t.
Wait a minute! We believed. We surrendered. We know what is true. Yet life looks nothing like we thought it would. And God looks nothing like we thought He would! What then? What do we do when experience and expectation conflict?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that God explodes expectations.
He does not conform to our view, but instead He conforms us to His. He is the God who breaks all expectations, who shatters preconceptions, who wants nothing more than to blow apart my ideas of who He is and replace them with a true vision of who He really is.
He is the God who calls us to leave our expectations at the door and come in to sit at His feet.
Excerpted from Wrestling with Wonder by Marlo Schalesky, copyright Zondervan.
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Surrender your plans and dreams to Him. Trust in His goodness. God wants to break down the walls of fear and anxiety in your life and to replace them with His peace. We would love to hear from you about how you are trusting God with your life! Come join the conversation on our blog! ~ Devotionals Daily