Expectation…that one word…eleven letters…and it can pack a punch in relationships. Friendship, marriage, parent-child, and spiritual relationships all suffer from unchecked expectation.
Lately God has been showing me how I can get on the expectation wheel and spiral quickly into a wind of emotion…disappointment, frustration, bitterness, confusion, and so on.
It happened just this morning. I got up a little later than normal, yet I was really wanting some eggs for breakfast. I looked at the time…half hour. I have a half hour. Yes, I can do this…whip up the eggs and toast, make my husband’s lunch, get baby food ready and eat before my husband goes off to work…no problem! I am the wife…that is what I do! Right? …Expectation #1
While I whirl around the kitchen my bundle of joy should sit here in the jumperoo contently. Right? Expectation #2
My husband should enter the kitchen see all my hard work, make the coffee, and praise my super wife powers. Right? Expectation #3
How did it really go? It didn’t take long and my pulse was rising. From the toaster oven the smell of charred crumbs pours out in the background. I am ignoring that fact. Jumping back and forth, all around stirring eggs, making a sandwich and cutting pieces of banana.The 9 month old, deciding she is not happy in the jumperoo…crying, discontentment…”can’t you just be okay for a few minutes!” I think to myself. My body temperature increasing with each cry. Enters husband…turns out he is running late. He is in his own whirl wind. Packing up his computer and gathering his equipment. Then he stops in the kitchen, “do you want coffee?” Thoughts racing in my head, “Really?!…you have to ask?…what does it look like right now?!…yes, make the coffee!!!” In reality, I say nothing. Just keep moving, time is running out. I am frustrated to the core now.
Finally, we are all seated at the table. I breathe. Was that really worth it? The eggs don’t taste as good, sitting together doesn’t feel as sweet, and my husband leaves with no words of encouragement from me…all because of my unchecked expectations.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I live life full of expectation and plans that myself and others should follow? Am I rejecting the work of the Lord when I focus on the tasks, duties, things I expect from myself and others?
Over the next few days will you examine your heart as I do mine? Will you ask our Father where you may have unchecked expectation? Will you let Him show you truth…the truth that will set us free?
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! ESV