I began thinking of the birth of my own children and my five grands (soon to be six). Remembering the thrill of the expectations for each and every one of them during the nine months of waiting. Surely they would be smart, handsome, natural born leaders, compassionate, charismatic-born to fulfill the expectation of great things to come. Perfect in every way--without blemish--healthy--perfectly proportioned--not too tall-not too short--head full of hair--ears that don't stick out--hands full of strength--eyes symmetrical--nose the perfect size--long legs and arms--future model citizens--who cling to the ideal of family, marriage, and hard work and love their mom-lulu. It never occurs to us that our children could be less than our greatest expectations. Perhaps a moment of worry might creep in--but we embark on the adventure of parenthood not anticipating the worst--but believing in the best.
At times--the unimaginable happens--and our baby is not perfect--in man's eyes. Babies are born with defects--physical, intellectual, and emotional. And yet--most of us continue on and do the best we can by nurturing our less than perfect child. Loving them--accepting who they are--adapting to the less than perfect circumstances. And other times--the unthinkable happens--our precious baby is called back to Heaven--far too early. We are left with the difficult task of surviving the un-survivable--and somehow we continue on--with broken hearts and dashed expectations - our broken hearts continue to beat.
Long ago--a young girl, Mary--was told she would have a child--without knowing a man. Her expectations must have been similar to ours. I recently read an article which speculated she knew what the future held for her baby.
Perhaps--but she was young--a woman in a man's world--uneducated in the scriptures--unfamiliar with all that was foretold. My heart tells me Mary had great expectations for her child--exactly like we all experience. If she had known what was to come--could she have borne the agony? Perhaps God is protecting us by not revealing the future---allowing us to wait--with the hope of great expectations.
A non-believer might look at the life of Jesus and question how his life met his mother's great expectations. A life of being hunted--from the very early days--of others wanting his death. A life of rejection by many--and betrayal by those in the inner circle. A humiliating trial--painful beating--and agonizing parade carrying the weapon of your death. What mother would ever want to see her child meet an end such as this. OH--but the glory--the wonder--of what He had done with His life. The joy of the greatest of expectations being fulfilled when He rose again. Where oh death is your sting? He has saved us all and fulfilled the greatest of expectations for our hope and our future. Great expectations fueled by great hope--fulfilled by the birth of a baby--long ago.