I have expectations.
Of myself, of others, of the things I want to happen in my life.
Sometimes my expectations are good. They cause me to reach out, learn, grow and achieve.
But sometimes they are not so positive. Like when they are based on things that are unrealistic (I still don’t understand why Phil doesn’t always just know exactly what I want and need. Didn’t God make husbands to be mind readers?!), or based on what other people think of me. Or even based on what I think other people might think of me…still with me?!
When my expectations of myself are controlled by what others might think of me then they are not controlled by what God thinks of me.
Yesterday during the sermon we were called as a church to be a people that live with courage and integrity as we go out and steward the gospel God has given us to share. But to live with integrity we can’t live by the expectations of others. That’s why we need the courage bit too.
I know that I struggle to not seek approval and affirmation from others. I know that I look for confirmation from those around me. Nice words or little messages that let me know they think I’m great and I’m doing great things. I look for those, and I can get down when I don’t have them.
But when I look to people for those things I stop looking to God. And only God can tell me the truth about myself because He has created me and knows exactly what He can expect from me.
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defence;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:5-8 (NKJV)
Another word for expectation is hope. To have an expectation of something is to hope for it to happen. When I talk about what God can expect from me, I like to think that God is not sitting in heaven with a check list of things I need to do for Him to be happy, but rather that He is putting His hope in me and excitedly waiting to see me grow and become all that He has created me to be.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5 (NIV)
If I look to others to build me up there will always come a point when it all comes crashing down. When I get hurt, when I start to expect and believe the wrong things about myself.
So I must try hard and raise my gaze and put my hope in God. Knowing that He will never hurt me, that He will always hope for the best in me and from me, and that He will never be disappointed in me. For my expectation, my hope, my life, my purpose, my strength is from Him.
And because stories are always better with pictures…here is a sweet little bird I didn’t expect to see on Saturday, hiding in a tree.
What are your expectations/hopes for this week?