A friend once told me, “If you expect to be disappointed–you’ll never be disappointed!” While totally pessimistic, that expression holds some truth.
Have you ever been on a blind date? I went on one a few years ago. It wasn’t totally blind. I noticed a guy I thought was attractive and pointed him out to a friend who happened to know him. She proceeded to set us up, and I could NOT wait. This guy looked like Justin Timberlake, dressed like Johnny Depp, and carried a book with him everywhere. I spent the weeks leading up to our date dreaming about the acts of chivalry this well-read dreamboat would present to me, the romantic meal we would share, the idyllic good night kiss. Well, when the happy evening came, I was more than a little disappointed.
I was on crutches at the time, and climbed into his car without help while he self-consciously looked around for people staring. We had dinner through the drive-thru at Harvey’s and sat in his car in the parking lot to eat. When we got to the movie theatre, it was pouring rain and he tried to talk me into leaving my crutches in the car because surely I could just hop to the door! I paid for our movie tickets and we sat through one of the worst films ever made. Afterwards, my date waited for everyone else to leave the cinema and started racing up and down the aisle on my crutches like a five-year-old. When he was worn out, he drove me home. We finally pulled into my driveway, and instead of a romantic kiss to seal the date, I got an awkward side hug over the stick-shift in his front seat.
Sometimes I wonder: if I had heard my friend Pierre’s advice a little earlier, would I have enjoyed my date’s childishness a little more?
I sort of doubt it.
I think most of us spend a lot more of our time fantasizing about the ideal circumstances for our lives than is altogether healthy. And we ultimately can’t avoid being hurt when people or things let us down. Because they always will. In my case, for all the guy’s preliminary charm, style, looks, and reputation, that date ended miserably. That doesn’t mean we should stop having relationships, or even stop having hopes or expectations; it means that we need to put our hope in something beyond human weakness.
I have learned though, and so have countless others, that the perfect man exists and He will never let me down. It’s not Johnny Depp, and it’s not even my dad (who is pretty darn close): the one I’m talking about is God.
The deep joy, the pursuit we long for, the unconditional love that anticipates our every need will only ever be fulfilled by Him. And believe me: it will be fulfilled! If you’re looking for a romance that stands the test of time, look no further than Jesus Christ. He lived and ultimately died for you, so that you could live forever with Him. Unlike my date, He will never be ashamed of me, never hide me away. Even if I forget about Him, He will always open His arms to me and His ears to my prayer, not because He needs me or is a pushover, but because He loves me so endlessly.
Even if I found a man who loved me and intuited my every need, who had everything in common with me, Jesus would still love me better. His love does not bend or break under the test of time. When Westley in The Princess Bride said “death cannot stop true love,” he captured it: death didn’t stop true love, in fact it didn’t even “delay it for a little while.” In Jesus, death was proof of true love and His resurrection was an invitation into spending a life of true love with Him – beyond death.
If this is appealing to you, you should know that Jesus is reaching out to you. He wants you to experience love and relationship with other people, but He wants to be the one you rely on with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. He knows that He is the only one who will never let you down. The only unrealistic expectation of God comes when we underestimate Him. He is perfect for you because He is perfect.
He loves you endlessly and longs to show you proof. All you need to do to begin a relationship with Him is to acknowledge a few things:
1. Your sin. Sins are the selfish things we do that hurt God, others, and even ourselves.
2. The fact that Jesus Christ saw your sin and the consequences you deserve, and took them upon Himself by dying on the cross.
3. That Jesus rose from the dead for you and offers you a ‘second life’ too, eternally with Him.
4. Lastly, acknowledge that Jesus ultimately has the best plan for your life: He knows who you should spend your time with and what you should spend it doing, because He alone knows your heart through and through.
You can use your own words or this prayer to do that:
Dear Jesus, I have high expectations and find myself disappointed, even in myself. I admit that I have looked for satisfaction in things that won’t last. I have been selfish and have hurt others and myself, but most importantly, I have hurt you with my sin. Thank you for forgiving me and dying for me as a sign of Your perfect love. I want to spend my life with You, so I ask you to come into my heart and show me how to live a life that will honor you. Amen.