Expectation... Good? Or, Not So Much?
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
"The creation waits in eager expectation..." ~ Romans 8:19a
I was talking to a friend the other day about guilt.
His position was that it's among the worst of human inventions.
Mine was how well it can be leveraged as a tool when experienced in appropriate measure, when we don't allow it to take over.
Alas, it doesn't seem to be a tool with which many in our culture have great skill.
Isn't that the case with so many things?
In certain measure, "it" (whatever it may be) can be useful when handled well. In excess, not so much.
I recently found myself in the position of having set an expectation on someone in my life. I didn't realize I had done it, it was subconscious, subterranean, sub-something.
It wasn't until I was utterly heartbroken that I realized I had even set the expectation.
Because we live inside our own heads, we project the way we choose and intend to interact with the world onto others. We expect the same behavior, the same treatment, the same consideration in return.
The only problem with that is, we're different people.
We've had different influences, different contexts growing up.
We have different views of the world.
Because of that, what someone else believes is a perfectly acceptable way to treat us, may not land for us in the same way, and visa versa.
As believers, we are fortunate to have a shared template within the pages of our instruction manual for life.
But even then, we can fall through the cracks of understanding and regard.
When it comes to interpersonal relationships, expectation can be a treacherous thing, for all concerned. More often than not, lacking a healthy ability to let things go, those expectations can lead to disappointment.
I've heard it said a time or two, though I can't recall where it was most recently, that "expectations are premeditated resentments."
I'm not sure that's always the case because of the frequency with which we don't even know we're setting the expectation, but it's illustrative nonetheless.
Some level of expectation and regard between people is healthy. Respect, kindness, courtesy, are all basics... though even those can vary in definition between the ears from one individual to another.
Expectations in relationships can be an interesting challenge to navigate.
Expectation of God, on the other hand?
To be clear, I'm not talking about entitlement to the grandiose, expecting to win the lottery because prayers have been prayed, or anything like that.
Eager anticipation that He will show up and show off in the world, in our lives, and in our hearts on the other hand?
I'm not sure we can ever have too much expectation in that particular context, in that particular relationship.
Eager anticipation of God's presence showing up? That's an expectation I want to cultivate.
One thing to be careful of, of course, is a willingness to be surprised. We don't want to micromanage the Almighty. :) If we can let go of what we specifically hope for, of specific details and outcomes, then we are able to be wonderfully delighted with whatever He is doing in our world.
That's actually probably a great distinction between healthy expectation, and maybe not so helpful expectations of the Father.
God grant us greater faith for greater grace, for the eyes to see Your miracles, great and small, that they may flow abundantly.
Believing is faith. Faith makes the Father smile, and He likes to show up.
Jacob believed to the point of obstinacy for his blessing, and he was given the name Israel.
Joshua believed for victory, and the walls came tumbling down.
In the face of death, Esther believed for the miraculous, and her people were saved.
David believed he could defeat a giant with nothing more than a stone, and we all know how that story ended.
Moses believed the sea would part and the Jewish people would cross on dry land, the bounty of Egypt in tow, and so it is they were set free.
These examples and so many more, from the pages of history, show us what is possible.
... with the faith of a mustard seed, one might even say.
But, we must choose and train ourselves up to believe with our whole mind, body, and soul; with every cell of our being, down to our very toes.
It's a practice. And, when we endeavor in earnest to expand our capacity for belief, to grow our faith day by day, our Abba steps in and lends a hand.
Thank You, for growing our faith.
Thank You, for expanding our belief.
Thank You, for allowing us to bear witness to and to receive Your miracles.
Thank You, for helping us to walk through the world in eager anticipation of Your ever expanding presence in our hearts and minds and lives and families and communities and the world.
In the most Holy name of Your Son Yeshua we pray,
"Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." ~ Hebrews 11:1&6
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." ~ Ephesians 6:10
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." ~ Philippians 1:20
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
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