Have you ever exclaimed, “I didn’t sign up for this!”? Most of us have likely heard or read it somewhere, perhaps spoken it in jest or real pain, seething anger or confused disappointment. This______ (fill in the blank) is not what you hoped for, anticipated, or expected. You prayed, asked for God’s help, waited, moved forward and:
The job would that was supposed to be fulfilling and a wonderful way to spend eight hours of your day? Your boss makes life miserable for you.
Your marriage isn’t the place of emotional intimacy or sexual faithfulness you expected and vowed to keep yourself.
You obeyed Jesus, giving up relationships that you knew were sinful, yet were a source of love and affection. Instead of the “all things” being used for good, you’re left with loneliness and deferred hopes.
You moved by faith into the costly, arduous, emotional, adoption process and now life is complicated and exhausting as scars from your child’s pre-adoption years manifest daily in overwhelmingly sad ways.
You prayed for God’s help to remain sexually obedient, yet the temptations still rage. How is that fair?!
Sigh. Was Anne of Green Gables right, that the life we thought we signed up for eventually becomes a “… perfect graveyard of buried hopes”?
Jesus chose you and ‘signed you up’ to share in his life.
Friends, what did we sign up for when we became followers of Jesus? Or asking it another way, what did we understand the Christian life to entail once we believed, committed, and began to follow Jesus? Were you told that Jesus blesses his followers with abundance and ease as a reward for forsaking sin, especially the ones we most enjoy? Maybe like many of us, you just assumed that a loving, gracious God would remove troubles, because after all, he has the power to do so!..