From Expecting to Yielding...

I find that my expectations often get in the way of God's intentions. Expectations I have for myself in how I respond to a given situation. Expectations I have for my children. Expectations I have for my church. Expectations I have for my marriage. Expectations I have for my friends. My expectations are normally rooted to my hope that someone or something might be better. I think that's a good thing. What I'm seeing more clearly these days is how my expectations - even when they're good - may hurt the very thing I long for. Rather than bringing hope they add pressure. The subtle (sometimes not-so-subtle) message is "I love you more if...or...I love you more when you live up to my expectations."  And when my expectations are not met the disappointment everyone feels is tough to deal with. I find it very confusing. I certainly don't want to stop believing, dreaming and hoping in something better. The line between healthy and unhealthy expectations is not always clear to me. 

I read something this week that was helpful...

"When we operate from the perspective that our doing determines our being, we expect immediate returns on our investment of time and resources - observable results that prove we have performed well and are therefore persons of value and worth. If we fail to receive such instant feedback, we presume we have failed and begin to struggle with a perceived loss of self-image, value, purpose, and even identity. Instant-gratification persons have great difficulty waiting patiently for God's timing; trusting God to bring the needed transformation in God's time nor theirs; persevering in obedience even when there is no indication that such obedience is making any difference in their lives...spiritual formation is the great reversal: from habitual expectation of closure to patient, open-ended yieldedness." 

M. Robert Mulholland, Invitation To A Journey, p.31

The way of faith is not found in releasing my expectations (often a passive resigning to minimize conflict and disappointment) but in yielding them to the mystery of God's purposes at work in a given situation or person's life. My faith is not placed in my expectations but His intentions. My part is a ruthless trust in Father's relentless pursuit of His purposes in the lives of people.

I wish I lived here more consistently...more comfortably. Until then I choose to be patient with myself. In time my expectation will become more of my experience.

Fighting for Your Heart,

Gary