After another amazing Easter Sunday, God had a thought rolling around in my head...one that we talked about a great deal this morning in our staff meeting. Why do we approach Easter with such enthusiasm and expectancy and allow every other Sunday to come and go without much thought? (this is a question for all of us, not just church staffs).
Aside from the obvious presence of CEOs (the Christmas and Easter Only crowd), there always seems to be this huge anticipation of what Easter Sunday will be like. But why don't we carry that same anticipation for God's presence all year long?
Expectancy...it's a word that I used a lot with my student ministries over the years. It's one that I am re-introducing to the students of our church right now. Maybe we all need to be reminded that God loves to exceed our expectations. He loves to love us in ways we can't imagine, that we don't expect and that don't "fit the plan." (see Ephesians 3:20-21 below)
Here's my question. Why don't we expect more from God on a weekly (dare I say, daily) basis? Why don't we believe that He will still heal the sick, fix the broken, loose the captive and recapture the souls of those who are lost? It's not because God is any different than He was in the "old days." God's still God and has every bit of the desire and power to change our lives. I think the answer is two-fold: 1) we don't care enough. Our focus is so self-centered that we care little about the hurting of others and only want to know that we are taken care of and that our comforts have been considered (don't believe me? Just ask a bunch of Baptists to trade their air-conditioned worship center for two weeks in India or a prison cell ministering to the incarcerated and see what kind of response you get.)
2) We don't believe He cares enough. We've allowed our culture to define away God, to place Him in a nice, neat box where He is only pulled out in times of national crisis (e.g. the 9/11 terror attacks). In the mean time, we are more inclined to hand our daily problems to a psychiatrist, a career change, a bottle or some self-help guru. We think that God couldn't possibly care for those little things.
Here's the good news. God does care...deeply. He wants to intercede on your behalf. He wants to meet with you EVERY day of the year and give you a life--not free of pain and trial--but one that enables you to survive and overcome the ones that do come into your life. One question still remains...what are you expecting? What do you believe God wants to do in you and through your circumstances this week?
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG