September 22: Open Letters – Dear Expectations

Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-26

Dear Expectations,

We all have them! Expectations are a part of our existence. Fulfilled expectations bring great joy! We receive the college of choice, job of choice, spouse of choice, the family, the house…you get the picture!  What about the experiences that finish the sentence…”I didn’t expect that…!”?

I am overjoyed with the parents I had, the spouse I have, the children I am blessed with, grandchildren. On the flip side, I didn’t expect to see my mom pass away when I was 25, I didn’t expect my children to have such struggles in life, and I didn’t expect to lose a grandson before I could kiss his cheek. You can finish the same statements with your own lists of joys and unexpected sorrows. This is life “under the sun.”

For a little more than two years, a friend and I studied and talked about the book of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon is on a quest for meaning in life and is passionate in his pursuits to experience purpose and joy. He builds parks and houses and “denies himself nothing that his eyes desire; and refuses his heart no pleasure.”  He says “that his heart takes delight in his labor and that is the reward.” He expected this satisfaction.  It just didn’t last long enough. He surveys all that his hands had done and all he achieved and then admits that it has no meaning. He was looking for eternal fulfillment in a temporary earthly existence. We are like Solomon.

Do you remember who Solomon’s father was?  David.  He was, as a boy, a shepherd. I’m sure he didn’t expect to be a warrior for his nation and then a king.  As a shepherd, he writes a beautiful poem that refers to God as his shepherd. (Ps.23)

He is my Good Shepherd and His sovereignty is a quality no human has.  I praise Him because He was behind my existence and He is with me each moment of my existence and He goes before me and knows how many days my existence on earth will be.

King Solomon admits that “everything is meaningless.” The Good Shepherd says, “I come so they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Will my expectations rule me or will I let the Good Shepherd lead me?

Through this song, be reminded of His goodness regardless of the fulfillment of our earthly expectations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpqSbKYxd9Y

Celeste Kern

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