What are you expecting? Our expectations play a large part in what we receive in life. How can we frame our expectations so they work for us and help us get what we need?
As a survivor of abuse, I had a negative outlook to life. I believed people would hate me if they knew my past. I was certain God had something against me. He had to. Why else had He permitted my father to molest me? I hid my real desires from God for fear that God would put a roadblock in my path. I figured there were some fortunate people God liked and I was not one of them. So, why would He want to answer my prayers? I expected nothing from God and received what I expected.
Expectations play a part in our perceptions of how we think God answers prayers. Initially I expected God to answer my prayers the exact way I wanted. I was like a child having a tantrum, wanting my way NOW! If I didn’t get what I wanted, when I wanted, I stamped my feet, turned away and screamed at God, “You don’t love me.”
I can’t tell you how many times my kids have screamed those words at me. I must have been the worst parent – I made them eat vegetables, do their homework, and act responsibly. Sometimes they had to wait and work for the things they wanted. They survived the minor disappointments I provided. A parent sees the big picture, but kids focus on immediate gratification.
By focusing on what I perceived as God’s neglect, I never noticed what God was doing in my life and how much He was there helping me. Gratitude and looking at what God has done in the past can change our expectations which, in turn, changes our responses and actions.
Instead of rose-colored glasses, I viewed my world through abuse colored lenses. Anything that seemed to delay my perceived needs, I felt was neglect. The way I wanted God to work would have kept me a victim for a longer time. God forced me to try new things, different things, things that made me uncomfortable. Change seemed to be the enemy. It is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Change must occur.
Does that mean that we can never have expectations when we speak with God? No. We are to pray, expecting. Our effective prayers line up with the truths of the Bible and mirror God’s best for us. Our actions will show that we have faith that God will answer.
In order to pray according to God’s will, we need to know what His will is. He wants us healed and whole. He wants us joyful. He wants us happily doing the work that will help others to learn about God and find freedom.
One thing that helps us wait is realizing how much God loves us. He is the perfect parent and His actions in our lives stem from a love that is beyond our understanding. Bask in this love and know that He will continue blessing you, even in the tough times.
What are you expecting?
Do you need to change your expectations?
I hope your day is blessed.