“Hope deferred makes the heart sick” says the writer of Proverbs (Prov. 13:12). We all experience times of longing for something that doesn’t turn out the way we had planned; the pain of unmet expectations. And
our “heart” feels sick.
I sat with a pastor and his wife one evening, and she blurted out, “I hate last suppers!” “What is a last supper?” I asked. “When people in the church take us out for a meal and then tell us why they are leaving our church!” she said. This pastor and his wife, like most, had the expectation that their members would be loyal and stay and support the church, but it does not always work out that way.
In our churches, with our business clients, and in personal relationships, we usually hope the people we are connected to will continue long term. And in many cases, they will. But when people move on, it can be a real test for us.
The reality is, people will move on. If this pastor’s wife’s faith remains in Christ, she will face disappointments and won’t be devastated when her expectations are not met. We must guard our hearts from taking an
offense when our expectations are not met. We choose to forgive others because the Lord has forgiven us (Matt. 6:14). Forgiveness and speaking blessing to those who have hurt or disappointed us will cause us to become whole, move ahead with our lives, and not get stuck in the past. Remember, forgiving does not mean that what they did was right. It may have been wrong. But forgiveness releases both us and the one who has hurt us, so we can experience the Lord’s intervention in our lives.
Let’s not get stuck in the past. His plans for us are for good, to give us a future and a hope (Jere. 29:11). There is no need to dread last suppers.
On a personal note, I am writing this blog from the Toronto Canada area. I look forward to ministering to a group of leaders here from our family of churches tomorrow. I had a cup of Canadian Tim Horton’s coffee
tonight just to fit into the culture!