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  • Writer's pictureShaun Nestor

Unmet Expectations

melting snow and a melting, muddy, snowman

Was anyone else really excited for it to snow over the weekend? I know I was. After a couple of years without any significant snowfall, I was ready to get what I was hoping to be 5-10 inches of white, fluffy snow.

I always remember being excited for snow, whether I was a five-year-old just wanting to play in the snow or a high schooler hoping to see that notice “West Chester Area School District - Closed” come across the bottom ticker on the morning news. Today, I just love to see the simplistic beauty of the snow falling. A white canvas covering what is otherwise a dreary winter landscape in our area.

Maybe you are someone who rushes up to the mountains for the thrill of a good round of skiing or snowboarding. Or perhaps you are a parent who can’t wait to let their kids go out and play in the snow all day, sparking memories of when you did the same as a kid. Quite possibly you are on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to snow. Maybe you hate the stuff and dread any time it's in the forecast. To you, maybe snow means you have to wake up even earlier to shovel your way out of your house, brush off and defrost your car, and then carefully drive to work as you dodge drivers who may or may not know how to drive in slippery conditions.

Regardless of where you are, there is a feeling of expectation that creeps into you whenever you see that snowflake appear on the five-day forecast.

That feeling of expectation, in this case, became an unmet expectation at the end as the day saw a minor snowfall followed by a quick change to pouring rain.

This is perhaps one of the most light-hearted examples of when our expectations of life differ from reality. You work hard at your job but consistently get passed up for promotion. You did everything right health-wise but still found yourself dealing with a major sickness or disease. You dreamed of the day when you had that relationship only to find that you feel more empty than ever. Instead of a beautiful picture of a snowy landscape, your life feels like a never-ending downpour.

I imagine David felt that way. Anointed to become king over Israel, he had a hard path to the throne as King Saul pursued him, wanting to kill the person he viewed as a threat to his reign. After Saul’s death and some strife with the remainder of Saul’s inner circle, David finally sees himself crowned king of Israel in 2 Samuel 5.

But David’s time on the throne was hardly all sunshine and rainbows. Sure, the kingdom prospered and David was given victory nearly everywhere he went, but he lost his best friend before he ever got the throne, watched multiple of his children die, and even experienced a mutiny from his son Absalom, putting him on the run again for several years.

Nothing was as David expected. And yet, through it all, he kept his faith in the God who is above every situation. After all, it was David who penned the familiar verse:

Even when I walk 

through the darkest valley, 

I will not be afraid, 

for you are close beside me.

Psalm 23:4 NLT

We can have the same faith today. Actually, we have even more reason than David to keep the faith in dark times. We live in a post-resurrection world. Jesus, the Messiah, the true heir of David, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and resurrected from the grave. His death and resurrection made a way for us to join Him in heaven for all of eternity.

But that does not mean it will be easy. Jesus warns us of that when he says:

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NLT

Jesus both promises that we will have trials but also promises that he has overcome the world and all of its trials. That means, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in, regardless of how life has not gone how you expected, as long as you trust in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will be able to get through any trial the world may throw at you.

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