"Sometimes my faith is shaken when my dreams are shattered.
I wonder where God is in the midst of my suffering. I cannot sense his presence. I feel alone and afraid. My faith wavers.
I question what I have long believed. I wonder what is real, especially when my experience doesn’t match my expectations."
Many have undertaken the task of sorting out the differences between our generation, and previous generations that have come before. While there is much to learn from such studies, I think the differences can be overstated. One thing that has been proven (see article below) however, is the enormous gap between what our parents expected out of life, and what we expected out of life.
(Here is a somewhat humorous take on this phenomena: Why Generation Y is unhappy)
It has been said that disappointment comes from unmet expectations. I think that statement is profoundly true. There are two options at that moment of disappointment. . . .seek to meet the expectations, or evaluate if the expectations are where they need to be. I would say our culture spends a lot of time and energy trying to make the expectations that we have, happen. I think we're tired and worn out people, largely because we have an obsession with getting what we want out of life. Now, I think goal setting is a good thing. . I have many goals. I think stretching yourself is a good thing. I think having reasonable expectations of others is a good thing (others may need to help some of us with "reasonable".) But, if we're constantly frustrated because our life isn't turning out like we want, or that circumstances in our life are not what we want them to be; then perhaps we need to change the expectations.
Jesus was brutally honest with his disciples and with us. . let's look at some of the things he said:
"You will be hated by all for my namesake"
"The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God"
"in this world, . . you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world"
"a servant is not greater than his master"
I wonder if some of us, even subconsciously, think we should have it easier than Jesus, or the disciples (all jailed, or martyred)? If we don't live in a place where religious persecution like this is in the cards. . . . . do we think we should escape all other trails? Do we think we deserve comfort and ease? Do we think all of our dreams should come true in this life?
Disillusionment is, by definition, the end of illusion. Jesus does not leave us alone, or tell us to "just deal with it" when things are hard in our life and our expectations are not met. He calls us into relationship with him. He draws us to him IN AND THROUGH these times. Let's be honest, it's moments of disappointment when we're most likely to run to our Savior. So, yes, He allows our castles to crumble so that we'll run to him.
Our future is very, very, very, unbelievably bright. Our present will have trouble and darkness. Trying to escape and mitigate that trouble can be hazardous to our faith and our maturity. Let's run to our Savior in hard times, in hope for the future, and with clear eyes towards the present.