Great Expectations

I was driving in my car to meet up with some friends. I thought to myself, “Wow! I feel like I’m normal.” Immediately following that thought was, “If you were ‘Normal’ you’d be married by now.” Don’t you LOVE how quickly the enemy likes to jump right into your thoughts completely uninvited? Then I thought, I wonder how many people wish their life was normal. But what is a normal life? If you are single maybe a married life would seem normal. If you’re married, maybe having kids would be normal. Maybe if you are married with kids, you think single-hood would be more normal. Everyone has an expectation of what they think “normal” should be.

I recently read an article about how your twenties is one of (if not the most) depressing decade. The writer of this article said that when you’re in your twenties you have a ton of expectations. Most people in their 20’s expect to finish college, land a big job, have a house, and settle down. So when things don’t pan out as expected, people in their 20’s often face depression, start feeling the weight of being an adult (with lots bills to pay – or student loans), and may have a steady income, but not the income they had expected. Maybe they thought they’d have their own apartment, or the spouse they married would have a better job. Or they are not who you thought you’d be with. The list could go on and on. We as people have expectations! That is a fact. Whether we expect things from life, our job, our co-workers, family members, spouses, children, etc. We expect things to be a certain way.

So what do we do when our expectations do not pan out as we had intended? How do we handle things not going our way? Embrace it! Whether you realize it or not, the situation you are in now is unique! You may be thinking, yes, but I am only this. Or, I am only that. Comparing your life to someone else’s life will diminish your joy. God Almighty has placed you exactly where He wants you there for your good and for the good of those He has placed around you! If you are a mom, God has specifically designed your children for YOU! Your husband or wife, God says, “what God has joined let NO MAN separate!” God brought you together. So whether you are going through a rough time realize that it is all part of training. God trains us for what is ahead. So when your expectation are not met, don’t throw in the towel. It is an opportunity to trust. Sometimes God chooses not to give us things because if He did, we would become prideful. God gave the apostle Paul a thorn in the flesh. Paul begged God to take it away three times, but God said, “My grace is sufficient for you!” Not only did God allow Paul to have a thorn in the flesh, but he also allowed Paul to be imprisoned. If I were Paul I might have thought, “Seriously? What is going on?” But if Paul were not in prison, where would the book of Philippians be? And Philippians is one of my favorite books.

So wherever you are- Embrace it! Life is so much more beautiful when we let God lead and don’t let our expectations or comparison rob us of our joy. In John 10:10 Jesus says, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Your joy can be stolen- if you allow it! Jesus goes on to say that He came to give us life and life abundantly! Your life is so very important. God has placed you were He wants you. And He wants to give you life, and life abundantly. Embrace it :)!

“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my EXPECTATION is from Him” Psalm 62:5

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I’m Coming Out!

Person #1: “..I’m praying for the best”

Person #2: “Prayer can move mountains but it doesn’t buy certain necessities or put food on the table”

When I heard this conversation, I couldn’t help but think about it. The past few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking. I know a lot of incredible people. I caught myself thinking, “If I could be more like her”, or why can’t I have his talents”, or even “How come he got to lead so many people to Christ”. But then I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 3:5-7

“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth”

God knew we couldn’t do it all. He created us to function together in our gifting. If I am trying to work using someone else’s gift and not mine- I will be miserable. God also places people in my life that are not in other people’s lives. I may will never be a Mother Teresa or a Billy Graham, but I know that there are people around me that may need help and God didn’t place them in anyone else’s life. He put them in mine.

That conversation that is above was between a believer and an unbeliever. The unbeliever was pointing out, without knowing it, the huge gap between the believer’s beliefs and the believer’s action. “What you believe determines how you behave- always”. So if we believe that Jesus left us to work as a unified body to reach the lost- why aren’t we out there helping the lost? I was VERY convicted because I too often say, “I’ll pray” but then I’m too afraid to take an action. I think to myself, “I might get hurt” or “It might be too much for me to fit into my schedule”. But when I look at Jesus, He never said, “That sacrifice is too great”, “It would break my heart to do that”. No, Jesus let His heart get broken time and time and time again so that mine would be healed. God has every single person on this planet for a reason. He wants more from me. He wants to do more through me. And He wants to do the same for you. So, I want to come out and put His hands and His feet to work.

I almost did not start this blog because I thought, “There are so many blogs. There is a lot of pages out there. One more won’t add anything.” But this week I heard a Pastor say this exact thing in the context of using your gifts in the body of Christ. So, I figured that was a good enough kick to get this thing rolling. So here it is Lord!

 

My prayer:

Lord, please forgive me for not taking action when action is needed. Lord, there are so many hurting people that You want to restore and make a new creation. Lord, without You I am nothing. I can do nothing. Please create in me a new heart and renews a steadfast spirit with me. Test my heart and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me into the way everlasting. Lord, take this life and make it Your hands and Your feet to this world. Thank you for not saying that it was too much to die for me. Help me to show the same sacrificial love you showed me. I ask this in Jesus mighty name! Amen!