Expectations and Resentments
Then Moses turned to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? Exodus 5:22
As it is painful to repent, when we do finally commit to radical obedience, we often expect everything around us to change instantly as well. Though we once dragged our feet, making excuses, once we decide to follow God, we want immediate results.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but when I got out of treatment for chemical dependency, I thought I had life figured out. I had made a radical commitment to follow God and I just did not see that I had much more on which to work. Then, when the wrinkles of life were not all ironed out, I was frustrated. My unmet expectations of God turned to resentments.
In today’s passage, Moses experienced the resentment of unmet expectations. God commanded him to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, which made things worse. In his defiance of God, Pharaoh turned his anger on the Israelites, who blamed Moses. Moses, in turn, blamed God. Why did you ever send me?
We often do this to God and men. When we commit to a right course of action, we believe that the world should fall into place for us. Then, when it does not, we lash out at those around us and we lash out at God. We expect to be rewarded when and how we see fit, and when we are not, we become resentful. You owe me. God owes me.
In following God though, we are not guaranteed success or comfort. God promises that He will draw near to us and that we will grow life when we obey, but this does not mean we will be win the lottery or get a promotion. It means that we will know joy, peace and love, even in difficult circumstances. When we expect God to do exactly what we want, when we want, we are not practicing faith, we are preparing for resentment. Faith is following God, even when life does not go according to our plans.