In Genesis 27, we read about a milestone that should have been, but that wasn’t. Imagine what Esau looked forward to the day his dying father, Isaac told him to get ready to receive the blessing. Esau, Isaac’s older son, had expected for his whole life to receive this blessing from his father. The blessing would signify his stature, outline his inheritance, and seal his glorious future before the Lord. While preparing for that milestone, Esau’s brother Jacob tricked Isaac and took the blessing, robbing Esau.
Jacob, likewise, prepared for a milestone that didn’t come as he expected. He fell in love with a woman named Rachel. For seven years he worked for her father, per their agreement, in order to marry Rachel. On his wedding day, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah. His long-awaited wedding was a time of deceit and disappointment.
Imagine the milestones that Job awaited when suddenly his life was plagued, torn apart, and brought to a place of misery. Or Ruth, as she got married and looked forward to years of love and many children, only to lose her husband and end up in a strange land caring for her mother in law in poverty.
The New Testament holds no shortage of examples of people whose expected and desired “big moments” weren’t what they hoped for. Mary prepared herself for Godly marriage only to discover God’s plans actually involved being pregnant out of worldly wedlock.
Paul is a great example, too. He was a zealous Jew, well-known for his “great” work of persecuting Christians. Surely he looked forward to a life of upstanding religious reputation and power. Then, he was struck blind on a road, transformed by Jesus Christ, and joined the ranks of the persecuted.
Who among us hasn’t also had grand plans and dreams that haven’t come true or weren’t what we expected? There are plenty of milestones we look forward to that never happen. Or, that occur, but that are tainted, defiled, and altogether not what we wanted.
We struggle with dreams as Christians. Often we struggle because we put our hope, oh so humanly, in things, ideas, and plans instead of in the Lord. Surely He knows His plans for us, and His plans are for our good and His glory.
Disappointment comes when what we expected isn’t found or isn’t what we thought. But our strength is renewed by our true hope –our Lord.
“Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. –Isaiah 40:27-31