Don't Squander the Wander!

A refuge for all who are wandering through the wilderness and tethered to the truth

Great Expectations

Is it fair to be upset when people act exactly how they have always acted? When the track record bears witness, and you see an affirmation of all you already knew? They are just being who they are, right?

Expectations are a funny thing. We want people to act and love as we think they should, not as they are known to do. Then, when they do exactly what they do, we get upset that they didn’t do what we expected, what we decided they should. That’s a formula for frustration every day of the week.

So here’s the rub. Do we lower our expectations to meet the limited response? Or, do we keep our expectations where they are, understand we are bound to be disappointed when these hopes aren’t met, and just move on with a shrug and a shake of our noggin?

I’m not talking about the random moments of life when we just aren’t at our best. When we act like an idiot or say something stupid. Such things are the stuff of life. I’m wondering about the broader interactions of community. Long term life. The day in, day out, way we move and breathe and speak and love amidst the circles we run and live.

Seriously, this is a quandary, and probably not one limited to my own brain space. We want to love well, but we want to be loved well too. Sounds simple enough. So, when one is done and the other is not, one is let down. One is left to simmer, settle, forgive, and seek the Lord for peace.

It’s that whole “why didn’t they do what was right” or “why didn’t they” this or that. No matter how much we ask why, sometimes we just never get the answer. Because the why isn’t ours to answer. Ours is the “how” of the how do we move on from here. How do we pick up the pieces of what we thought should be, brush off the dust, and move forward in truth.

Yes, people will let us down. Yes, we will let people down.

Yes, sometimes people just stink, but that should not be our criteria for how we respond.

See, the enemy loves to get us off balance, off our game, so that the moment we are tired, frustrated, discouraged, whatever, those little scuffs of life become gaping chasms of emotional mud. We forget the consistency of patterns. People gonna be people. All we see is the momentary fury of once again seeing the lesser side of what must be a better human than we’ve interacted with. In our frustration we forget what we’ve learned, and how far we’ve come. Worst yet, we forget who we are. We let the poke and prod of a muppet take our focus off who we are in Christ.

I wish I could give you, me, and the planet a three-step solution for this crazy issue. Still working through it myself, and still wishing I could master this challenge. But, friend, I know the One who will walk along side me and you as we struggle with this tension of human interaction. Jesus has not forsaken us; He has not forgotten us. He knows who we are, and might I say, He thinks we are pretty spiffy.

After all, He went to the cross on our behalf, bearing all our burdens, sins and scars, so that we could be free of the entrapments of limited humanity. So, we could rise above in newness of life, standing on the truth of who He says we are. In Christ we see that the only expectations we need to hold high are His. Our actions need to be in alignment with His best.

And, we have no control over another person’s expectations or choices, so there is freedom in just letting it go. Letting them be them and letting us be us. Staying in our lane. Focusing on the narrow road God has for us. Personally. Giving grace to those who will let us down again and again. Extending forgiveness. Stepping out of the expectation lane. Moving into the freedom God so abundantly offers.

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About Me

A plain old Jesus follower who understands more each day what it means to embrace the grace of God, and glorify Him in the simple things of life.

All posts by Jennifer Devlin

Copyright 2023

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