Does Not Meet Expectations



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

2 Timothy 4:16–18

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


As a student, I would dread the possibility that my report card might have the box checked for “Does Not Meet Expectations.” I never wanted to disappoint a teacher or a friend, and yet there have been many times I’m sure I have just as I have been disappointed by them. As we are learning, sin has a heavy influence on our relationships with one another. Being altar’d is going to require us to surrender our disappointment; to be willing to let go of the expectations others have not met in our lives and the pain it has caused.

In Paul’s final letter to his apprentice, friend, and co-laborer Timothy, he is truthful in sharing his disappointment. After years and years of serving God faithfully, of teaching and encouraging other disciples, Paul has found himself in prison once again. However, by now he has developed a reputation based on his teachings of Jesus, and being associated with Paul was dangerous. Paul tells Timothy that even though he has sacrificed for others and been faithful to other believers, everyone has deserted him. Can you empathize? Have you ever felt the pain of being deserted by people you thought were your friends? Being disappointed by someone may seem small compared to tragic offenses we have experienced by others, but even the small pains in a relationship can intensify when we don’t release them.

Being part of the body of Christ does not mean that you won’t experience disappointment, hurt, and bitterness when someone fails to meet expectations, but we can choose to surrender that pain to God. Truthfully, it might even be harder to let go of the pain we feel when it happens within the community of believers because we have higher expectations of them. Think of the passage we read several weeks ago of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane. He asked His closest disciples to stay with Him while He prayed, and He expected them to offer support during His dark night of the soul.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” . . .

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. (Matt. 26:36–38, 40)

The disciples failed to meet the expectations of Jesus three times. If I were Jesus, I’d be ready to throw in the towel of our relationship. And yet we learn from both Jesus and Paul that the reaction we are invited to have to the pain of disappointment is surrender, releasing it to God. What did Paul say? “May it not be held against them.” Paul did not wallow in his disappointment, holding on to the pain, but he turned his eyes to the Lord for strength and comfort.

Walking in Jesus’s footsteps this Holy Week, we will see Him face disappointment over and over again, but Jesus did not allow disappointment to distract Him from fulfilling the life mission that would give us salvation. As you face disappointments, are you willing to surrender it to the Lord so He can strengthen you?


Lord, disappointment seems like such a small pain, and yet when we hold it, the pain grows. Would You begin to heal the small wounds that we carry so they do not become larger ones? Thank You for helping us release our disappointment so that we do not carry it. Amen.


Where are you holding on to disappointment in others? Can you release that today and trust Jesus with that pain? Learning from Paul’s experience, what are some of the positive consequences of releasing the pain of disappointment?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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