God Exceeds Our Expectations - The Warrior's Journey®

God Exceeds Our Expectations

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomband they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’” (Mark 16:1-3) 

These women came to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body for burial – something that both Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 12:3-8) and Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-41) had already provided. Actually, Mary’s anointing of Jesus while He was still alive was sufficient for the short time He would spend in the tomb. Joseph’s load of burial spices weighed in at one hundred pounds. He obviously expected Jesus to spend a very long time in the grave.  The women’s burial spices and ointments were completely unnecessary since Jesus was no longer dead.   

 It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus continually exceeds our expectations. These women were preparing for a heartbreaking situation. They wanted to show one last bit of love to Jesus and their great concern was, “Who will roll away the stone for us?”  Not only had God taken care of that problem. He had overturned the source of their grief and darkness. He had raised Jesus from death and made Him alive with a glorified body. Though He still bore the scars of His crucifixion, these would serve as eternal badges of His heroism and proof of our redemption. 

 Don’t we do the same as these women and as Joseph of Arimathea? We prepare and brace ourselves for worst-case-scenarios, while God is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Think about the mother of Moses as she placed her infant son in a basket and set him upon the Nile. Why did she do it? As a feeble effort to help her son to escape Pharaoh’s edict and all boys must die? She had no idea that her dark night would turn to glorious day. The daughter of Pharaoh would adopt the child and would even hire Moses’ mother to nurse him and care for him (Exodus 2:1-10).   

 Think about Joseph the son of Jacob, who was rejected and sold as a slave by his brothers.  Tragedy and disappointment seemed to push him further and further from a prosperous course. Then came the day when he was elevated from the dungeon to Second-in-Command to Pharaoh and became God’s instrument to save humanity from starvation. In retrospect, Joseph would say to his estranged brothers, “What you intended for evil God intended for good” (Genesis 50:20). Don’t despair when it looks like everything has gone wrong. God is in the business of turning tragedy to triumph. 


  • Are you faced with a hopeless situation that seems beyond God’s power to fix? 
  • If God could turn the tragedy of Jesus’ murder into the greatest act of redemption, what could possibly be beyond His power to restore? 
  • Let’s not give into discouragement and despair. God will not abandon us.

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