Great Expectations

By Cherry Ann Smith

A friend gave me a book he had purchased years ago. I read the title with great anticipation, expecting an early edition of Great Expectations. The pages, to my surprise, were blank and that spoke volumes. Memories of missed opportunities flooded my mind. Have I lived my life of great expectations with many accomplishments, or would my book have blank pages? There were many things unfinished, the dissertation I started, many home projects, stories I could have written, the …and so on and so on.

Jeremiah 2911 has always comforted and encouraged me.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (ESV)

I know that entry into a doctoral program and successful completion of coursework during many traumatic, potentially life altering events (e.g. surviving three hurricanes, death of my mom, critical illnesses, loss of my home, business, and income) was of God. But I never finished my dissertation. God’s plan delayed and my expectations remain unfulfilled.

Like the man in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew’s gospel, I had one talent. It appeared I buried my talent and abandoned my God-given desires. Will my book of hopes and dreams be blank? Have I allowed fear, procrastination, disorder, family drama, and my flesh to overtake the plans God has for me?

I turn to the wisdom in the Bible for comfort.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8, ESV

It’s not too late to fill our  blank pages if we put our trust in God.

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