Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:159-160)
Expectations can get us into trouble at times. We think something should be what it ends up not being. In fact, it was never intended to be the way we expected it to be. Or just because we saw it somewhere else, we thought we could expect it in our lives, too.
A sibling got good grades easily, so we thought we should, too.
We got into a good college, so we expected to do well while we were there.
We graduated from college, so we expected to get a job…in our field.
We planned to get married “someday” and were shocked and frustrated when it didn’t happen by age ____.
We wanted a career but just assumed we’d have a family, too. We never realized there would have to be give-and-take between the two.
We expected to have children, because it’s really all we ever wanted.
We expected our lives to work out. They didn’t.
Well, we can’t really say they didn’t because we’re still living them, but they haven’t worked out yet. Wait. That’s not exactly true either. They haven’t worked out the way we had expected.
There’s that expectation word again.
As far as our dealings with the world, few of our expectations are going to be met. Some experiences will be disappointments, and sometimes our experiences will exceed our expectations. We’ll even have many experiences that we simply never expected at all. I’m not sure why we’re consistently surprised when our expectations aren’t met. After all, how do we really know what to expect? Because the world tells us?
But expectations of God are another story. Oh sure, we can get our expectations wrong. We can assume some things about God’s provision that just aren’t truth, but if we stick to the truth of His promises and character, we will never be disappointed.
We don’t have God’s perspective, so we can take a promise and overlay it on a situation in our life and claim they don’t match up and that He’s not keeping His promise. But that’s not possible. What’s actually going on is that we don’t see how He’s fulfilling His promise. We don’t know all the details. We don’t know His perfect timing. We don’t even know everything about our own lives—past, present, and future.
Loving God with expectations involves knowing God. It’s about knowing His promises and character and standing firmly on them. We stand on them with an eager anticipation of leaning forward into them. We anticipate how God will show up in our lives. We anticipate how He will show off in our lives. We anticipate how He will weave together the many threads that seem mismatched and random to us.
When we love with expectation, we don’t plant our feet and refuse to move until ABC happens. Loving with expectations isn’t conditional on our demands. It’s conditional on God’s precepts. What He says is and will be forever. We get to be a part of God’s forever. In fact, it’s our forever, too. And we get to expect God’s active participation and investment in us every moment along the way.
Dear God, I love You with expectation. I know You are going to continue to work in my life. I know You will always seek me. You will not leave me even when I ignore You. Thank You for Your pursuit. I ask You to weed through the expectations of my life, showing me what to let go and how to move on. Give me contentment in Your provision. I want to express my gratitude to You continually, giving You all the glory in my life. I lean forward in anticipation of a growing, loving relationship with You.