When I was growing up my expectations were simple. All I wanted was to be treated fairly. I didn’t think about the differences in people nor their values. If my Mom gave my sisters a cookie, it was only fair that she give me one too. As I continued to mature I learned that often my expectations didn’t always coincide with reality and when it didn’t I was disappointed or hurt.
As I was thinking about what my next post topic would be, I had a conversation with my niece who had just returned form a mission trip in South Dakota on a Indian Reservation. When she set out her expectation was that she would be spreading the the good news. Prior to her trip, she had spiritual leaders pray with her asking God to prepare the way.
You may think because we live in the U.S. that everyone knows about Jesus, however, the reality is that they do not. She stayed on the reservation for a week. Jesus was not a household name and she was coached on not to be to fervent about saying his name. She was caught off guard because her expectations and reality were moving in polar opposite directions. How is it that we live in a country where there is a church on almost every street corner, yet, there are still people that don’t recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
It truly saddens my heart.
In fact, she said, “Aunty M, I didn’t know what a hard life was until I came here”.
What is that old saying?
I cried because I had no shoes until I meet a man who had no feet.
Let’s be honest. We live in an upside down world. Often we act surprised when things don’t meet our moral or social standards. Yet, why are we surprised because we have been forewarned.
The scripture tells us in II Timothy 3:1-5
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
I believe as believers we want to believe that people are genuinely good. We don’t want to see anyone miss the opportunity to spend eternity with our Savior but the reality of it all is that some will. The scripture tells us that we all were (thank you, Jesus for the Blood) sinners serving Satan (reality check for me) until we called upon the name of the Lord.
I am glad that there are people that have a heart for mission service. People like my niece and daughter (Melbourne University/Australia). Realistically, that is what this life is all about serving others. It was exciting to learn that during this time of service that each member of my nieces team was asked to discern what was a joy blocker for them. A lady shared that “when her expectations don’t meet reality it blocks her joy (hence, my blog title). In spite of my nieces expectations not meeting reality, she still has a heart (joy) to serve in the mission field and for that I am very thankful.