What areas of your life are you currently expecting something?
Maybe you’re expecting to hear from your boss about a promotion or maybe you’re just expecting your husband to take out the garbage tonight after dinner. Quite possibly your expectation is a bit more complex if you have been praying for a husband, a child or for the cancer to be gone. Whatever it is you’re expecting I’m certain that if those expectations aren’t met there will be hurt, disappointment or frustration.
There is an article floating around social media in which the author identifies the silent killer of all relationships to be unmet expectations. As I read through the article I started thinking about my own life, and I recognize a lot of what he says to be true. Days that don’t go as planned, a husband who can’t read my mind and a toddler that I, embarrassingly so, expect at times to be well beyond his years developmentally all add to the chaos I create in my life that can make me feel let down or out of sorts. It’s not just earthly relationships that suffer from unmet expectations, but my relationship with the Lord is always at risk when I allow Satan to keep a running list in my head of all the “unanswered” prayers the Lord hasn’t gotten back to me on.
If you find yourself nodding in agreement to any of this be assured we are not alone! Since the
beginning of time women have been relying on themselves to accomplish tasks that the Lord already has figured out.
God had created a perfect universe in which He and man lived in harmony, but Eve allowed herself to be tempted into believing she was missing out on knowledge and wisdom that was reserved only for the Lord.
The Lord had given them everything they needed/wanted for a happy life yet when it seemed there was something more they could have, even though it was forbidden, the expectation (according to Eve) grew. An unmet expectation resulted in hurt for Eve, for Adam and ultimately for all mankind.
Another woman in the Bible whose unmet expectation produced heartache was Sarah. The Lord had told her husband Abraham that he would make him into a great nation, God promised them offspring who would inherit the holy land. The expectation was set, but God wasn’t moving at a pace that was acceptable to Sarah. She grew impatient and took matters into her own hands.
Now Sarai (Sarah), Abram’s (Abraham) wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar, so she said to Abram,
Not only did Hagar give Abraham a son, fulfilling the expectation that Sarah had, but along with it came resentment and frustration. God did fulfill his promise to Sarah and Abraham eventually, but not before Sarah made a delicate situation much more complex than it needed to be.
While there are just as many examples of men making the same mistakes, I think it’s important for us to learn from these (and other) women in the Bible. It can be difficult to wait on an earthly want, but (and this is a huge BUT) remember that while people of this earth may let us down or not meet our expectations, the Lord ALWAYS comes through on his promises. He may not meet every expectation to our liking, but He will follow through in His own perfect way according to His own perfect will.
So often we want God to move at our pace, but in doing so we risk missing out on all the lessons the Lord needs us to learn at that time.
Did you catch that really important line? While lessons of this life may hurt, nothing the Lord does will harm you; in the end you will always be blessed and He will always be glorified. God has written the perfect script for our lives, He doesn’t need any editing from us!
The next time you find yourself expecting something take a step back and ask yourself what you’re trying to get accomplished? If you find yourself setting expectations for selfish gain be reminded that it’s not the job of people on this earth to make your life easy, and it’s certainly not the will of God that everything be handed to you easily either. While unmet expectations can certainly bring out negative feelings, they can also be earthly and spiritual lessons to help us slow down and gain patience, making the end result that much sweeter.
Dear Lord, sometimes it’s so hard for me to see the amazing things you are doing in my life! Thank you for the intimate ways you know me and every detail of my life and my future. While it’s easy to want to control each and every situation I face, when the unmet expectations of this world leave me feeling let down and worn out, help me to call upon you and recall the promises you have made me; not to leave me or forsake me, but to prosper me and give me hope! Amen