I told you yesterday I’ve spent several weeks being frustrated and angry with God over unmet expectations. In Acts 3 & 4 I saw a story personifying the two options we have to respond to unmet expectations – that of a rejoicing crowd and that of the annoyed Sadducees. I’m a Sadducee most of the time – how can I be a rejoicer instead?
In the story of John & Peter healing the lame man (Acts 3&4) I’ve most often meditated on the boldness of Peter before the crowd and the Sadducees or the joyous response of the lame man. But overwhelmingly this story is about Jesus. Most of the text is spent reporting Peter’s sermons about Jesus. There’s a lengthy prayer that’s Christ-centered. The author Luke’s point was to show off Jesus.
John and Peter were experts on watching God mess up their expectations. They’d spent three years being confused, confounded and annoyed by Jesus. John and his brother had gotten their mom involved in asking for a spot in the earthly kingdom they mistakenly thought Jesus was about to institute. Peter got a verbal backhand by Jesus for trying to make Jesus conform to the common expectations for a victorious Messiah.
But every time their expectations were disappointed, God’s plan moved forward. They’d seen over and over again the superiority of God’s plan to theirs.
Which is why they preach Jesus to the crowd and the Sadducees. They hadn’t planned to preach a sermon nor get thrown in prison that day. But since the opportunity presented itself, they weren’t going to waste it arguing with God over their own upset expectations. They knew to look for God’s hand instead.
So next time I’m in the middle of being frustrated by the failure of my plan and my unmet expectations – I hope I’m more like Peter and John. I want to bring my focus back to what God is doing. To wait and watch expectantly until I understand what He’s got in mind. Because a good sign He’s at work is when things aren’t going according to my plan!