When Pre-Miracle Expectations Don’t Match Post Miracle Experiences

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Most of my life I’ve judged the Old Testament Israelites pretty harshly. A moment here or there, I might be able to relate to a certain situation, but mostly, I remained befuddled at why trusting God was so difficult-after all, He parted the Red Sea for them; dropped manna from the heavens; brought water from a rock; & hundreds of thousands of quail landed amongst their tents when they wanted meat. How do you not trust & have renewed hope in God after that?

But now, part of me gets it. I have begun to wonder about their mindset. While they were in captivity how, in their mind, did freedom from slavery look? When they were walking on dry ground across the Red Sea with skyscraper-sized walls of water on either side, what did they think life would look like on the other side of this miracle? What about the first morning the manna appeared-as excited & grateful as they felt-how long did they envision having to collect it & eat it? What hopes, dreams, beliefs did the moms having babies in the midst of the 40 year desert reign whisper into their babies ears?

I wonder how often our post miracle realities match our pre-miracle expectations.

I can list a dozen plus miracles that have brought us to the 64th day. And I can also tell you in March when this began, I expected our life to look differently by now. I expected procedures to work the first time; I expected pain medicine to alleviate pain like it did day 1; I expected this miracle journey to look differently-where we would be tangibly closer to our promised land.

I wonder how many times we grow weary walking through a miracle because it looks & feels different than we expected. Long after the emotional high of the last “big win” wears off & you’re looking at another long & difficult day that doesn’t line up with your expectations-the weariness sets in. Long after your physical & emotional resources are spent is it easy to become weary in the grind with no end in sight. In the midst of being thankful for the manna, your heart still longs for a home-cooked, family dinner.

It’s here, when life doesn’t line up with how we expected it to, that our faith grows. It’s here when we are spent, that God can begin to fill us back up with life from an eternal source. It’s here in the middle of our own 40 yr desert walk that God is waiting for us to realize those were our expectations-not His. They were our hopes, our dreams, our desires, not His. It’s here after you’ve walked through the miraculous, but not yet in the Promised Land where God is waiting to meet needs you cannot.

I’m guessing when the Israelites first glanced at their Promised Land inhabited by giants how weary that must have felt; that it was another expectation that had to be let go of too. It’s a great reminder to me now to align my expectations up with God’s so that when I, too, see giants in my Promised Land I can see with eyes of faith like Joshua did & instead see what God has in store beyond the giants.

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