Are you looking for your empanada wrappers? If you are, I have your order. I’m sure you were disappointed when you received my chicken, carrots and cucumbers. Not what you were expecting from your grocery delivery. You were expecting your ice cream, cereal, milk and bread. And your empanada wrappers. Were you going to make them for your family?
To be honest, I was frustrated and tired when I opened the door and found the wrong grocery order. I had just returned from a long plane ride and was feeling jet lag. The last thing I wanted to deal with was the customer service department of the delivery service. But, I found myself calling the number, seeking my food and questioning what I was supposed to do with the wrong order, now melting on my front steps.
Two calls later and I was reassured that my money would be refunded and I could either keep the wrong food, or throw it away. Thankfully, it hadn’t melted too much and I brought the bags inside to inspect the mystery food. I didn’t know what to expect and it felt a little like Christmas, except I was opening someone else’s presents.
It felt so strange to open someone else’s order and find out what they had bought. There wasn’t a name or any address given, so I decided to make the most of what had randomly shown up at my door. If you have any empanada recipes let me know. I’ve never made them myself, so I’ll need to google a recipe.
Have you ever had this happen to you? Maybe it wasn’t an order for food, but maybe something else? We all have certain expectations that when they are not met, we are disappointed. We expect everything to happen in a certain way, at a certain time. But, then the appointed time passes and nothing. Or maybe its something as simple as getting in our car, or grabbing a bus or train, when we find our selves stuck. The train is broken down, or the bus, or our car suddenly won’t start, or there’s a flat tire.
I’m sure you have plenty of stories you could share of these missed expectations and delays. But, how do you deal with them? Can you find any humor in them? Can you see God’s handy work? Was your train or bus or plane delayed, saving you from an unseen tragedy? Can you make lemonade from life’s lemons? Or in my case, empanadas.
Perhaps, what happens after depends upon on our attitudes. Can we find the good in it all? Can we trust God with it all? Can we trust Him that in all of this life’s unmet expectations He has a clear plan? That maybe He knows what we need better than we do?
In the two weeks I was on my trip, God taught me quite a bit about my expectations. Two days into my trip and I received word that a friend had collapsed and was near death. I joined others in praying for her recovery and was brought back to thoughts of going through a similar situation with loved ones.
I expected to relax and rejoice on my trip, not find myself crying. Sadly, my friend passed, as had my loved one years before. For a moment life seemed out of control, and not making any sense. I had just received a message from this friend a day before I left. And now, in a quick turn of events, she was gone. I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t spent too much time with her. Our correspondence was mostly through social media.
I know it will be difficult on her family. Grief isn’t easy and it is a journey to go through. A journey, that as I get older, happens more frequently as older relatives are passing away. But when it happens to someone young, it is completely unexpected. My friend was young. If anything hopeful that has come from her death is all the stories her friends have told of her encouragement. She would often share her faith and specific Bible verses to her close friends. I wasn’t in the group of her closest friends, but it was encouraging to hear of her kindness and generosity. And her faith.
I realized that my expectations of life, what constitutes a long life, and what is fair or not fair in this life, are skewed. I cannot understand the big picture, the way God see it. I was reminded of a verse from Isaiah; ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD” (Is. 55:8, NIV). We don’t always understand why our expectations aren’t met. Our expectations reflect our own limited view of life.
It took a wrong order to help me understand that there will be many times when my expectations are not met. My view of life is limited; God’s is infinite. His perspective is perfect. I wanted my needs met, but God knew what I needed- a wrong order that reminded me that I am not in control of it all and I do not always understand, but I can trust Him. – God Bless- Nancy