I came to give life–life in all its fullness.
John 10:10 (NCV)

The doorbell rings and Rusty races to the door, barking up a storm. When I open the door, a box is waiting for me on the doorstep. Christmas is coming. But if you’re like me, the doorbell rings all year long because it’s so much easier to shop online and have the purchase delivered right to my home.

We have come to expect quick and at times, instant service. The Keurig machine makes my latte in sixty seconds. I scan my own groceries at the store and avoid the lines. The computer makes buying tickets, making reservations, checking in on family and friends a snap.

As a child, I could hardly wait for Christmas to come…the secrets, the mysterious presents under the tree, my favorite cookies making the kitchen smell so good. I expected Santa to bring me all that what was on my list.

As a young mother, I remember how I looked forward to my two-year-old’s Christmas morning. The excitement was electric, for all of us! I expected that high anticipation to continue year after year.

Teenagers love the planning, decorating, parties, fun, and friends. I enjoyed the house full of people, the smell of pine, but also the quiet evening with just the lights of the tree flickering in the corner, surrounded by a pile of gifts, Christmas music playing softly in the background.

There is a rhythm to the Holiday season. And each year I expect that the plan will go forward as it has in the past. But then it doesn’t. Life gets in the way and changes happen. Expectations set us up for disappointment. And we must choose how we respond.

Imagine how Mary must have felt that first Christmas morning. I wonder what her expectations were as she swaddled her little boy? In the book of Luke, it says that she pondered all that was going on in her heart…she didn’t want to forget. God had done a marvelous thing and she was right in the middle of it.

We must do the same. The plan may not look like you thought it would but we can be assured that God knows what is next. Don’t let expectations take away the joy of looking up to see what God might do in and all around you.It may look different from what you thought, but embrace what is new. He wants His children to have the same expectancy we had on so many Christmas mornings. Only this time, you may find you like it even better!