My friend, Bill, was talking to me about his son’s expectations. He called them microwave expectations. Bill was in his early 50s, and his son Ken had been married for about a year, and his son wanted everything fast —like in a microwave. Bill said, “I can’t believe it. They want all this stuff immediately! They’ve been married one year and they want a home, they want furniture, and they want a new car. They want in a year what it took us twenty years to get!” That’s not unusual; the child expects more than the father had.
Our Heavenly Father deals with this all the time — children of His who feel entitled to have certain things and to have them now. Jesus addressed the issue of expectations right up front when people said they wanted to follow Him.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Luke 9:57-58, the Bible says: “As they were walking along the road, a man said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.’” I distinctly remember one night when this statement of Jesus came storming into my heart. I was speaking in Denver, and my hosts had put me up in a beautiful hotel room, with a view looking out over the city and the Rocky Mountains. And for some reason it suddenly hit me, “Lord, I am living so much better than You did when You were here.”
It’s true. I have a place to live, a vehicle to drive, decent clothes to wear — so much more than the Son of God had when He was here. We start to develop attitude problems when we start comparing what we have with what others have, but that’s the wrong measure. How are you doing compared to what your Lord had — the King of kings?
Jesus told us that “the servant is not better than his master” (John 13:16). But a lot of times we expect a lot better life than our Master had. Jesus taught us what our expectations should be, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). The problem comes when we expect more than this day’s provision; when we demand more than that.
Maybe you’re wrestling with discontentment right now because you’ve been expecting too much. You’ve looked around at a greedy world and you’ve started wanting what other worldlings have. But remember, it’s all they’ve got! God has promised you rich rewards in heaven, but there’s no promise of heaven on earth. Basically, Jesus said, “Expect a few years of sacrifice for an eternity of wealth.”
You won’t seek first His Kingdom if you’re expecting or trying to get a lot of earth’s kingdom. When our Heavenly Father gave His one and only Son, He didn’t even have an earth address! Are you living better than your Lord did? Well, I am, and I’ll bet you are. Then you should be deeply and profoundly grateful for it. Thank Him for it! Ask Him to make you content with it. 1 Timothy says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” One man said, “Contentment is not getting everything you ever wanted, it’s realizing how much you already have.”
Consider that your Lord has given you unexpected bonuses to the real joy — which is having Him. Live your life like a two-legged thank you card to Jesus. And look forward to the wealth that He told you that you can expect — an eternity of enjoying His endless riches with Him forever.
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft 2019