I’m beginning to think this blog has taken on a mind of its own. While it was created to be an outlet for random thoughts as I navigate life’s journey, a theme has started to emerge that centers greatly on the subject of control in all its various entities.
So, with that “random” thought in mind ~ I give you today’s topic. Expectations.
A few months back I wrote a blog about being quiet. Well, I’ll admit. I wrote it, threw it out into cyberspace, and didn’t give it much thought after that. Until today. I picked up Invitation to Solitude and Silence again and I am challenging myself to stick with it from beginning to end. This morning I sat in silence before God and I was struck with the word expectation. As I’m sure you’ve come to gather about me, the thought didn’t stop at just a word. Quickly, my mind was swirling with the difference aspects of expectations (Now, you’re probably thinking ~ great job being silent, Deb! What can I say, I’m a work in progress.).
How many expectations do you think you have in a day? If I really stop to think about it, I have A LOT. I expect my car to work in the morning when I leave for work, I expect my clients to show up for their appointments (well, at least some of them), I expect to receive my paycheck on the appropriate days of the month, I expect, I expect, I expect. And I especially place expectations on God. However, it my attempts to relinquish control, I am beginning to realize (or be blessed with awareness of) the fact that I may simply be replacing control with expectation.
Is it wrong to place expectations on God? I don’t think so ~ after all He certainly offers many promises that are absolute TRUTH and it is absolutely fair to expect God will honor His TRUTH. The definition of expect is “to believe with confidence,” and I choose to seek assurance in God’s promises. However, it is when I place my expectations on who, what, where, when, and why God will fulfill my desires that expectations become a slippery slope. It is in that place that I believe expectations become limitations.
Look at Acts 3. Here is a guy who couldn’t walk his entire life. His disabilities have forced him to beg for money. And one day two disciples go walking by him, Peter and John. His expectation of them was that they would give him money.
“When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them” (Acts 3:3-5).
But what happened instead? Peter says, sorry, no money here.
Thank GOD we have a gracious God who is willing to look beyond our wildest expectations to fulfill His expectations for us. The story could have ended there. No money for the man ~ nothing that fulfilled his expectations. Instead, a miracle occurs. Peter says, I don’t have money, but I do have this that I will give you, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6b).
So, as I continue to work on letting go, embracing the fear, and living in the chaos, I will also live in the truth that my expectations have limits, but the God of the universe is limitless and His expectations far surpass anything I could ever imagine.
“God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life” (Psalms 62:5-6 The Message).
P.S. Can you tell I’m LOVING The Message these days???