On its own, expectation is an excellent motivator. It gears us up for things yet realized, invigorating us to stay the course until we hold the prize that we anticipated all along.
By definition, expectation means: a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
Where we run into trouble is when we misplace our expectations and cast them onto our fellow human.
Perhaps we believe someone should pick up our dry cleaning, put gas in our car, watch our children, visit us according to our schedule, stay out of trouble and pretty much conduct themselves as we expect them to behave.
When they fail to meet our expectations, we allow the unmet need to warp our emotions and we give them the cold shoulder, yell at them and/or play a passive aggressive game until all parties lose.
He didn’t tell me I was pretty turns into I’m not sitting next to him. She didn’t buy me anything for my birthday evolves into See if I ever invite her to anything again.
The Bible says we’re born with free will, so folks have a license to choose what they say and do. No matter if it lines up with what we think they should do.
Martha learned this lesson in Luke 10:39-42. Picture this task-driven woman as she slaved away in the kitchen in order to make sure that Jesus and the disciples were fed. She cooked, she plated, she served, she cleaned until her fingers ached.
We have to admit that her intensions were solid. She was serving the Lord, after all. Here’s where she got tripped up: Martha expected her sister, Mary, to be right along side her, putting in the same sweat equity that she was exerting.
Now picture Mary who sat at Jesus’s feet, wide eyed and hungry for every morsel of wisdom He shared, allowing His words to guide her spiritual growth.
Pan back to Martha who got so indignant, so aggravated, that she got in Jesus’s face like a petulant child and told Him to tell Mary to get off her fanny and do her part.
I was certainly raised to do my part, so Martha’s request always seemed reasonable to me.
Yet, Jesus busted through Martha’s expectation when he answered her:
Luke 41-42 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; 42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion that which is to her advantage, which shall not be taken away from her.
He redirected Martha, made her realize that she was the creator of the many things that troubled her and that her sister wasn’t responsible for it, but her own wellbeing.
This week’s practice:
Seek God and fulfil your own expectations.
Remember, you are a powerful child of God and everything you need to rise out of the ashes of the past lives on the inside of you. I’m truly blessed by your notes of encouragement, questions and prayer requests. Keep those coming.