Not-so-great Expectations


Expecting hummingbirdsWe all have expectations. Some are for big accomplishments, some for little things.

For instance, we just hung our hummingbird feeder out for this season. Now we expect hummingbirds to visit. Never mind that only a few came to our feeders last year. This year, we have great expectations that more will find the food we’re offering them. And because we’ve moved the feeder to a hanger on the picture window, we are certain that we’ll get even closer views of the amazing little fliers.

On holidays and birthdays, most of us expect to hear from our loved ones, perhaps even to receive a card or a gift. But sometimes we have to communicate our expectations. Otherwise, the ones who are supposed to fulfill our desires don’t even know what we want from them. We may be hurt or angry, but it’s as much our own fault as it is theirs.

That’s when our expectations are not so great. They’re not great because we expect someone else to read our mind.

The beauty of God’s love is that He already knows our desires. He still wants us to communicate with Him, to ask Him for His grace, His forgiveness, His healing, His blessings. But when we can’t put our longings into words, He knows. “Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You” (Psalm 38:9, HCSB).

Not only does He know our desires, but He will answer our pleas–when we align our will with His. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4, HCSB).

When we think God has failed to live up to His promises, chances are that we needed to adjust our expectations. It’s not that He can’t or won’t provide what we want: “Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, GW, emphasis mine).

While we may receive some of the blessings or rewards we expect out of life, we will be disappointed at times. No one but God can satisfy all of our longings. Only He can meet the greatest of our expectations–every time. And His answer will always ensure that He gets the glory.