Great Expectations

Written by Josiah Anthony


Have you ever received something different then what you expected?

It’s pretty frustrating. I heard someone once say, “frustration is the gap between expectation and reality”. If you think about it, that’s the only reason we get frustrated with anything, because we expect one thing and we get another.

My wife calls it a “Mermaid Moment”. When she was a young girl she begged her mom to buy her an Ariel outfit from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, it came with a green fin and everything. Her mom reluctantly gave in. When Alex got home and put the outfit on, she expected to look exactly like Ariel. However, being a small girl with brunette hair and a chili bowl haircut the reality of her situation began to set in as she gazed in the mirror, she did not look anything like Ariel. This brought an enormous amount of tears and frustration to young Alex.

In our house, we now call anything that is different from our expectation a “Mermaid Moment”. If you’re anything like us you have been faced with a lot of moments in life that could be described as a “Mermaid Moment”. Whether it be a new outfit, new job, new relationship or new city there are times in our life where there is a frustrating gap between expectation and reality.

In Mark 2:1-5 there is a paralyzed man who made his way to Jesus to ask for physical healing.

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 

Your sins are forgiven? All this man wants is physical healing and Jesus gives him forgiveness. Of course you may be the person that looks at this scripture from your spiritual high horse and think to your self how forgiveness of sins is much better then physical healing. But if we are honest with our selves, I think we all know how frustrating this would be if you put your self in this mans sandals.

I imagine he had a “Mermaid Moment” when he did not hear what he expected to hear. I know this because we get frustrated with this sort of thing all the time.

We ask God for physical healing and instead He gives us a better attitude. We ask God to change a situation and instead He gives us a new perspective. We ask God to change our spouse and instead He gives us an opportunity to show love and patience. We ask God to bring us a new job and instead He gives us contentment. We ask God to fix our problems but instead He gives us peace.

Seems unfair doesn’t it? But the reality is God is more interested in the transformation of your heart then the transformation of your circumstances.

For the man who is paralyzed, if Jesus had given him only what he asked for the man would have walked away with a fully competent body. But when that man died years later he would have spent eternity away from Christ. Later in the passage Jesus still heals the man, He just didn’t do it the way the man expected Him to do it.

God never promised to fulfill your expectations, He promised to fulfill His will. And if we would stop living in a self-centered world for a moment we would find, in the end, His will exceeds our expectations in every way. It just may not look the way we expect it to look.

So, close the frustrating gap by receiving what the Lord has given you and trust in His plan.

Josiah Anthony


  Josiah is our   Global Student Pastor

Josiah is our Global Student Pastor