Expectations was today’s writing prompt and I couldn’t pass it up. Expectations can be so AGGHHHH! Yeah, just picture a crazy lady pulling her hair out there… 🙂
Expectations can leave you feeling worse than the worst or better than the best depending on the outcome of said expectation. Everyone has expectations, whether for the positive or the negative, they have them. Expectations when boiled down simply mean how we assume something to turn out. For instance, I expect my daughter to sleep through the night tonight. Why? Because after months and months of sleep training practices, she has successfully done so consistently for almost a month now. I can’t believe tonight would be any different since we are staying on her schedule and she is healthy and fine today. However, that expectation can be punctured at any point during the night and leave me sleepy and grumpy by morning.
I also have the expectation that my husband is not going to do something special for Valentine’s Day today. Before the condemnations rain down on him, let me explain why. Well, first, we went out and had a special date night in advance on the weekend since we knew a week night was not convenient for us to have a date. Second, neither of us are super high on the gift giving/gift getting love language so it is rare when we do give each other gifts and we usually decide on those gifts in advance to minimize surprises that we don’t deal well with. It’s just who we are as a couple when it comes to gifting. Third, we have planned to eat a special supper at home tonight where we can simply enjoy each other’s company in peace and quiet (our favorite way to celebrate any holiday!) 🙂 Now, that is my expectation. Should my husband walk through the door with a bouquet of roses tonight, my expectations would be upset but that wouldn’t be a bad breaking of my expectations. It would be an elevation of them-a going above and beyond the call of duty type thing.
We often have expectations of what God is going to do in our Christian walk with Him too. Like we expect that He will bless us if we are walking with Him. How does that expectation work out for us though? Especially in America, Christians hear many pastors or teachers or authors preach what we would call Prosperity Gospel. This is the idea that if we just live “good enough” Christian lives, God will bless us and give us whatever we want. Yeah, I hate to burst anyone’s expectation bubble but that’s not quite how it works. How do we know when we have been good enough? Our faith can quickly turn to frantic work-based legalism or to glib why-should-I-even-try attitude in the face of this false doctrine.
Don’t get me wrong, God does bless believers. It just probably won’t look like the blessings we were expecting. Like when I prayed that God would help my husband find contentment at work, I expected Him to help Nick see ways to do so in the work environment as a teacher, I never expected that prayer to be answered by Nick’s total career change during the pregnancy of our first child! Trust me, in the moment, it did NOT feel like a blessing for either of us. God also blesses us as believers in the BIG ways that we often forget to count such as waking us up everyday, providing us a way of salvation, and ministering to us through His Holy Spirit.
God does promise us that we will face persecution and hard times for living our lives for Him in this world. It is not the pretty cross-stitch message you see on wall hangings unfortunately so we tend to forget that promise. Also, we forget that He said that whatever the Master (Jesus) faced on earth, we could face as followers of Him. Yikes. Beatings. Imprisonment. Separation from family and friends. Death. That doesn’t sound like what most Christians expect to experience. But it should be part of our expectations. However, that is not the hopeless end of our expectations. Thank goodness!! 🙂
We can have another expectation as believers. God will never leave us or forsake us. Whew! I don’t know about you but that is amazing. I know that hard times will come (some already have) but God will be right there with me every moment of every day just waiting to help and comfort me through each situation. Now that is a promise I can place my hope in! Plus, it will help me face all the other broken expectations that will happen too.
Okay, super long post complete. Now it is your turn, tell me about times when your expectations were met or not met and how God helped you deal with those time!
Thank for stopping by! 🙂