Expectations are tricky. On the one hand, not having them seems to reflect a passive, or negative approach to the situation. On the other hand, however, lies the question of “what if?” “What if my expectations are not met?” The idea of dealing with disappointment, undoubtedly coupled with the need for control, assurance, or perhaps practicality, often reins in expectations that could spiral out of control. I think another component of expectations is the hyper-consciousness of one’s expectations in a new situation, but its strong, silent presence in what is familiar.
I ruminate about expectations because I don’t think I really thought about what I “expected” when I came home for the summer. Personally, I don’t spend that much time thinking about my expectations, though, I realize that I must have them, and they must influence my actions. Consequently, I had a (small) rude awakening last week. I realized that I had returned home expecting things to be the “same,” but things had changed. I had changed, and the place had continued to change. Rather than seeking out a Christian community of my own, I had passively tried to settle into what I perceived was my norm before leaving, when in fact, I had not returned to the “norm.” In trying to find the “norm” and settling in, I found that I had quickly spiraled into me, myself, and I, taking off and leaving time to think, process, and share in community (with family, friends, etc.) behind. Wrapped up in myself, though only for a few days, I quickly lost joy and peace, seeking control and order.
Thankfully, the Lord was faithful, so faithful, and one evening last week, during a time of prayer and reading the Bible, he opened my eyes, renewed my joy, and strengthened me. Praise God for his faithfulness!
Daily he opens our eyes so that we may see–see where we are, where we were, and where we are headed; he is the giver of life, our reason for living, and the source of our joy; his joy is the source of our strength.
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:21-23 (KJV)
Dictionary.com defines faithful as “true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.”
I struggled this evening, trying to articulate what God has put on my heart. I don’t have anything “new” to say–I just feel compelled to share how faithful God is.
He’s faithful in new situations, old situations, changing situations, uncertain situations, daunting situations, challenging situations, joyful situations, hopeless situations—in every season, day, and moment.
So brothers and sisters,
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. -Psalm 27:14 (KJV)
Wait expectantly!!! Our God does not disappoint.