Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t set unrealistic expectations?And, I mean, that’s fair when it comes to relationships with people–people are broken, bruised, and burdened, and there’s no lasting level of fulfillment or goodness we can glean from others. Which is good–if we could really be fulfilled by other people, I think our lives just might be a nightmare, but I digress.
We cannot set unrealistic expectations for other people because brokenness always comes up at some point. But I love this idea, that expectations will never be fully met by another human being, because it keeps us very well reminded of exactly how desperately we need Jesus. And we need Him desperately.
It’s funny, too, the way we set these lofty expectations for people when, especially in the West, we spend so much time screaming about our individuality and independence. But then we attach our identities, hopes, dreams, futures–to people fulfilling us. And it’s almost funny because I think we should be much better at recognizing the attacks of the devil, especially when he’s being this obvious. And yet, here we are, with our grandest desires for our individuality to be defined by some perfect person. It’s strange how earth attempts to mimic and fulfill what is Wholly Heavenly.
We create perfect people in our minds–perfect friends, perfect partners, perfect parents, whatever it is–and expect that they will fulfill the role of God. And then we believe that God is not Who He says He is and that He isn’t the only Fulfillment. The Only Perfect One–Alpha, Omega, the Beginning and the End–He already came. He’s already here. He’s been moving since Eternity past, and is pursuing us with a Love so reckless we find ourselves with jaws dropped endlessly asking the question of why anyone would be so abandoned for me. Our attempt to create the facade of perfect people around us, for us, often roots itself quite well in the believe that no one would possibly go anywhere near as far as we’ve been told God has.
“What is he like?””Like everything we’ve ever heard.”(C.S. Lewis)
Imagine a Love so grand we might be able to fall into it without concern for letdown. Imagine something so far beyond our reach has not only bent down to offer us a hand but has jumped wildly from the highest places to our lowest lows. Grace runs in the lowest places.
All those expectations we’ve created that have been broken, hoping that they would never leave, never cause pain, never say the wrong thing or assume the worst–all of those things broken by man are fulfilled in the One Who Knows Us Fully. Only Him, only Him, only Him. We find ourselves scraping the bottom of the barrel for acceptance and belonging and anyone to give us a shred of fulfillment, while Jesus stands there, whispering calmly and holding us as we ask why no one can be what we need. The humblest Savior pursues us with His Wholeness while we try finding it elsewhere.
His Love is outlandish and absurd and everything we’ve ever desired. There is literally no greater fulfillment we could find, create, or pursue. Our design is pointed toward the qualities that only He fully possesses. That’s the whole thing–our design is for our expectations of character to be exactly Who He Is.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)