“You did not recognise the visitation of your God.”  How ironic those words are and how painful.  The Jewish people had endured hardship, a lot of exiles and persecution and finally a long wait for the Messiah to come yet when he came, they failed to recognise him.  They failed to recognised that God is in their midst.  If we give it a long thought and if we objectively look at it, all the signs point to Jesus and they who had been studying those signs should in their wisdom have recognised him.  But they didn’t.  I think this is because they had an image of God that they’ve created in their minds and their image of God is limited yet they so conditioned themselves to it that when the real Image of God comes, they rejected him.  They had unjustified expectations of God.  I think we could be the same.  Most of us would want a heart wrenching, gut twisting and body shaking encounter with God.  Often times we expect him to appear and miraculously solve our problems or smite our enemies and we wonder when he doesn’t do what he expected him to.  We pray for a deliverance from a particular sinful habit but when we find our selves giving in, we cry:  Where were you?  Sometimes we find ourselves in a sticky situation and when help is not coming from the sources we’ve expected, we think that God has forgotten.  It’s not that God failed us or has forgotten us. It is just that God has not been beholden to our expectations.  It is just that God has not saved us in the way we think we should be saved.  The Jews thought that for them to be truly saved, the answer is freedom from Roman occupation.  But God didn’t fight that battle for them because that’s a limited battle.  God fought a battle that couldn’t be won by us.  He fought a battle for our salvation.  But we didn’t recognise him because we expected little.  The challenge for us today is to have faith in God’s promise and to ask him for a sensitive heart that would recognise him when he comes. Often our expectations were actually demands of God and if we look at it closely, we would see that they are born out of a heart that fears trusting God. But the truth is he comes to us everyday to rescue and save us but we need a heart that’s attuned to him to recognise that what we’ve been looking for has always been beside us.

Father, I trust that you desire the best for me and that you desire to rescue me.  I lay down all limited expectations and demands of you but I trust that your way for me will be loving.  Amen.

Keep a sensitive tab to how God has been present to you today particularly in difficult situations.  Thank him for those times before going to bed.