Hey a girl can dream! Seriously though, it would be fantastic to have no bumps or ripples, no grit to rub against and puppy dogs and rainbows for days. But alas I wake up from this fantasy to a beeping alarm, mad rush to the bathroom shared by 5, rushing kids out the door and tepid coffee.
So go our days in a fallen world. Our presumptions may be somewhat realistic and maybe even (almost) within reach, but the truth is, negativity creeps in somewhere and blows our perfect day out of the water. The truth is, we should expect it. The likelihood of chaos is far greater than the possibility of the picture perfect day I illustrated. We all know that. So why are we surprised and disappointed when things go awry?
It boils down to expectations. We all have them. It’s great to set the bar high; to go after your perfect day; to set out for success. But doing so without selfish ambition is the key. Yes, we want good things. God wants good things for us, too. But the area between what we deem good and what God knows is good is where disappointment happens. Let’s call this area “If only.” “If only” is the place where we naively put our trust. “If only” seems like the gold at the end of the rainbow. “If only” convinces us that life will finally be bearable.” If only” may not be bad, but it may also not be good! We need to be careful that our plans line up with His will. What are our motives for these good things? And do they trump the desire to show Jesus to the world?
We need to realize that we are imperfect people trying to function alongside imperfect people. As one author put it, our rough areas rubbing against another’s rough areas are the beginning of conflict. Keeping our eyes on the prize of our own definition of success is a set up. For. Real. Unless our prize is all about God’s plan for our life and about bringing others to know Him, it’s not really a prize at all. We should run the race with endurance, but we should expect others to push us down to get past us, to gain their “What ifs.” And when that happens, and it will, we should get up, brush it off, and keep moving; not to catch up to them, but because we are running for the right reasons. Because we are running for God, leaning on His sustenance, believing that the ultimate outcome of the race is just what we need.
Thinking outside the box is a great way to grow yourself out of your comfort zone. But be careful not to get all the way outside the box of God’s will. Your lofty plans may advance you, but at what cost? Your blowing past or ignoring your Holy calling to be happy in this world will be the death of you, make no mistake.
For God, “If only” is an opportunity to see our hearts. “If only “is where He shows Himself perfect and powerful. His truth and omniscience will not be compromised. “If only” will be what He says it will be. No matter how we strive to attain the perfect day, as long as He is in control, and He is, it may not feel perfect, but it will be just what is necessary. He will use it for His glory and for the good of His kingdom here.
What are your expectations for today? Are they realistic? Are they beneficial? Are they God honoring? Who are you pushing out of the way to get there? HMMM…
Lower your expectations. Be humble in your pursuit. Then expect God to work in your life. I promise He will. He promises it many times in His Word.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
1 Peter 3:9
“‘Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
“Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him. You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things.”
“A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
And finally, this….
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:3-11
Be a blessing…Be blessed….