**NOTE: this was not written by me. It was written by Christian Author, Leigh McElroy. I just loved it enough to pass it along....
I'd arranged to meet a friend for dinner and was looking forward to our visit at a small cafe a few blocks from home. But her last minute message said she was under the weather, and couldn't make it. So instead of hurrying back from an afternoon of errands, I stopped in at a favorite flower market and spent nearly an hour fingering and smelling luscious autumn-colored blooms. Then I wandered through a half acre of pumpkins in a city church yard, taking in the sprawling sea of orange on the coolest day of the year so far. It wasn't the evening I expected, but it was lovely, just the same.
Expectations are tricky things. As soon as we get our minds or hearts firmly fixed on something--whether it's a tantalizing menu item that's no longer available, or a choice work opportunity that fails to materialize--we set ourselves up for disappointment. When we decide what is best, we judge anything other than that to be less-than-desirable. But the answer is not to avoid longing, to abandon striving, or to become numb and indifferent to loss. The answer is to hold our expectations loosely, believing that God's surprises--even the most confusing ones--have the deep capacity to delight...and that maybe, just maybe, we don't know best what it is we need most.
Joseph probably didn't think a stint in an Egyptian prison was a good career move. But it was. There is no way Mary and Martha believed that a three day delay by Jesus when their brother was gravely ill could end gloriously. But it did. And when the wandering Israelites' mouths watered for meat and fruit and honey cakes, they must have looked at the heaps of morning manna surrounding them and said, "Really God? Really?" Because if I expect freedom, I chafe at limits--even constructive ones. If I believe death is the final word, I'll be deaf to the Savior's compelling promise of life. And if I expect meat, I am destined to be forever unhappy with the mercy that is manna.
In truth, the blessing of God is that He gives us what He knows we need, even when we've told him in no uncertain terms what it is we'd rather have. He's so very good that way.
So here's to God's next confounding turn of events. It will not be His last. May I have the grace to trust Him all the way to joy when what I get is not what I expected.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.(Romans 11: 23, 36 NIV)