Place Your Hope in Him
Have you ever put someone on a pedestal, only to have them come crashing down to earth, leaving you crushed in the process? I’ve done this too many times to count, especially with fellow Christians. Why do do this, especially when the Bible tells us to look to Christ as the only unchangeable, unfailing person in our lives? I told a friend over coffee yesterday how tired I get of being so frail and human (after almost nine years of living with chronic pain you’d think dealing with it would be a piece of cake, but I confessed that many days I feel the same now as I did back in 2011 - scared, anxious, confused, and a little bit angry); I think I put people up on a pedestal because I want to believe I can get to that mythical place where life is “easy”, I’ve got it all figured out, my relationship with Jesus is exactly where it should be and I’ve mastered all the sin issues in my life.
There’s only one guarantee when it comes to putting anyone other than Jesus on that pedestal - we will be disappointed, because imperfect people will fail and let us down. This is especially true in marriage; I’ve often had to catch myself when I was fuming mad at my wife, realizing that my anger stemmed from unrealistic expectations - I wanted her to be perfect but give me unlimited grace!.
Joni Eareckson Tada has a great devotional about this topic called “Place Your Hope In Him.” She identifies our problem as this:
When we load all our hopes, dreams, and expectations into the here and now, without taking eternity into account, we subtly ask people in our lives to be what they will never be and to do what they are incapable of doing. We make the mistake of seeing our relationships as ends in themselves rather than as means to ends.
How about marriage?
This is especially true of marriage. Don’t think of marriage as a container for your happiness; think of it as a workroom for God to get you ready for the age to come. Don’t think of marriage as the missing puzzle piece in your life that will magically complete you. Only God can complete you! Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy, meet all your needs, or understand you through and through. Those are things only God is equipped to do.
Where should we place our hope? Jesus. Jesus is the only one who will never change, never fail, never fall, never let us down. Take Joni’s advice:
Place your hopes and expectations in Him. He will never disappoint you.