Great Expectations

The Member Musings section of our blog is written by church members in the hope of encouraging you to see all of life through the lens of the gospel.

As I write this, I’m sitting on the first leg of a long flight home from Reykjavik, Iceland, where I’ve just spent a week vacationing with my good friends and fellow Ligththousers Jen Wu and Megumi Sasaki. I know – Iceland. We’ll address that later, but if you ever want some tips on seeing Iceland on the cheap (and by cheap, I mean “Scandinavian cheap” which sadly really isn’t that cheap at all), we should talk. It was an unbelievable trip.

Prior to our departure, many conversations went like this:

Person 1: Iceland. Huh. That’s pretty random.
Person 2: So… why Iceland?! What’s in Iceland anyway?
Person 3: Iceland … is that the green one? Or the icy one? (Obviously Person 3 had never seen D2: The Mighty Ducks.)

The more questions I answered about why we were going and what we were going to do/see/eat/feel/AH! the more I felt this creeping feeling of dread – “Am I hyping it up too much? I mean, only like 300,000 people live in the whole country. Can it really be that great?”

To combat this feeling, I started to downplay the trip in an attempt to keep myself and my travelmates from being disappointed upon arrival. I didn’t want them (or me!) to feel like it was a waste of time and money, even if it was “Scandinavian cheap”. I felt nervous and self-conscious until we landed at Keflavik Airport Thursday morning – What if I had forgotten to book something? What if our accommodations were TERRIBLE? WHAT IF WE DIE HERE IN THIS COLD, BARREN LAND?

Sólheimajökull Glacier – pretty freezing 

But God showed His grace so abundantly from the very, very beginning. One of our mantras during the trip was, “We’re alive because of the kindness and generosity of others “ – and ultimately, the mercy and grace of God. (Our other mantra was #YOLOi meaning You Only Live Once in Iceland – yeaaaaah, see photo below.) We experienced great weather, travel tips from the American ambassador, a ride home from an elderly couple one evening when we were confused and lost, and the chance to see some truly awesome creation.

Looking around Iceland, I had never seen anything like it. Everything exceeded anything I had read about on TripAdvisor, or planned out in my head, or seen in my Google-image search sessions during my conference period at school. The landscape was more beautiful, the sky was bluer, the grass was greener, the fermented shark was even more disgusting than I had anticipated … I can’t even describe it. Fear of disappointment was gone. God is amazing, and He created an amazing world. We were so blessed to be able to see it.

PLUS the boiled sheep’s head was tastier than I thought!

And now, as I’m coming home, it’s good to reflect upon the creator of all these things. How often do I do the same things and project my expectations on God, His plan, and purposes? How often do I doubt His generous grace in the big things and the small things? What He can do is so much greater than anything I could ever expect, and I feel so, so small as I see the country disappearing from the airplane window.

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is a live and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will He not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30

God will never disappoint us, and He is always so much more amazing and incredible than we can ever anticipate or expect. To think that He loves us enough to send Christ for us, allow us to be reconciled to Him, and on top of that, gives us grace to see this beautiful world He created … it still boggles my mind! I’m so thankful that we get to grow in our understanding of His great love for us.

“… that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, beign rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Chris that surpasses knowledge, that you may filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

We can live with great expectations, because we have an amazingly great God!

P.S. Add Iceland to your bucket list – trust me!

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – pretty amazing


meganMegan Terasaki is a high school history teacher in the Pacific Palisades, and part-time world-traveler. She’s been attending Lighthouse since college and is so thankful for her Lighthouse church family. She loves being part of Children’s and Youth ministry, reading, watching war movies, traveling, drinking hot water, and spending time with her family.

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