Feb 8, 2018

Misplaced Expectations

In my home we are a divided household when it comes to football. Cathy likes the Minnesota Gophers and the Vikings; and I like the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s the end of football season and my team didn’t make it into the playoffs. And that’s OK because we still have five Super Bowl championships that will hold us over until next season.

Cathy’s team; on the other hand, made it to the NFC playoffs and had high expectations from everyone that THIS was the year that they were going to do it: win the NFC playoffs and then go to the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

When I say everyone, I mean even people that didn’t like the Vikings thought that they were a shoe-in because of the great season that they had. In fact, just the week before they had won in the last second (literally) and so EVERYONE expected them to go to the big game and win it all.

But they lost.

And no one expected that to happen. Fans around the world had expected great things; not defeat.

But they did lose; and everyone had misplaced expectations.

We do this with marriage, jobs, cars, and every kind of trinket that we can get a hold of. We place so much confidence and expect that things and jobs and events and people will be the ultimate source of happiness…

And when they don’t, we crash and burn and want to crawl into a hole and die. Or at least walk away from the job, marriage, trinket, etc.
It is during these times that I find myself wanting to ask; “What did you expect?”

“Did you really think that there would be no bad days at work or problems in the marriage or days when you would struggle and life would be less than stellar?”

So, we have two real options:

1.) We can go forward (as many do) and become cynical and lower our expectations for good things to ever happen; because we expect the other shoe to drop sometime soon.

2.) Or we could change what and where we place our expectations.

My observation is that we place way too much expectation in the job, marriage, trinket, etc. and place almost no expectation in the One who made us and all that is in the world. Why is that?

What if instead we chose in every situation (the job, marriage, trinket, etc.) to raise our expectations about what God can do with it?

What if we grew in expecting God to have another solution; another way to deal with the job, marriage, trinket, etc. other than bailing out and walking away. Or worse…

How do we grow in in expectation of what God can do? Start with reading the Bible to get to know who He is. When Jesus was on the earth, He said that when we look at Him we see what the Father is like (John 14:9).

In other words, we can expect that God will treat us similarly to how Jesus treated those who had bad situations; and came to Him for help. And if you’ve never read the stories, you may be surprised at just how merciful He is.

The Bible has many verses that speak to expecting great things from God

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)

The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season.” (Psalm 145:15)
Even the earth is waiting and expecting great things to happen:
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19)

One of my favorites Bible passages says;
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Another one of my favorites passages tells me that I limit what God can do and I need to get my expectations up higher! The passage is from Ephesians 3:20 and says; “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”
In other words, we haven’t even thought of it because our expectations are way too low!

No this may not have fixed whatever was wrong with the Vikings, but it sure would bring hope into your daily life; as well as into the lives of those with whom you interact.

What are you expecting????

All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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