Expectality in 2014

Expectations.  We all have them.  Often they rule and reign in our lives creating stress, frustration and discontent.  They can ruin relationships.  They can sour our attitudes.  But we all have them.  So what’s a girl to do?  I’ve been mulling this idea over quite a bit in the last year.  It’s not necessarily the expectations that are the problem, but rather “expectality”.  Don’t bother looking it up.  It’s a made up word.  When I find myself stressed, frustrated and discontent because my expectations have been thwarted, dashed or unmet, this is the state known as “expectality”.  It’s when my expectations collide with my reality.  For me (and perhaps you), it’s really a control issue.  I want to control situations and outcomes.  I want to be comfortable, happy and content.  I want my way.  But…that’s not life.  Jesus said it perfectly before He left earth, “…in the world you WILL have trouble…”.  It’s a truth none of us will argue with, to be sure!  The answer to dealing with “expectality” in life lies in the “BUT” statement that follows in this verse.  I think we often overlook and forget this…“BUT take heart, for I HAVE overcome the world.”

Our answer to dealing with “expectality” is answering the question:  What will I do with this?  How will I choose to respond?  I can’t change or control circumstances or people or unmet expectations.  I can’t control the expectality.  But I can control how I respond.  My response will affect my level of comfort, happiness, contentment and peace.  Instead of controlling, I can choose to surrender and trust the One who controls the universe.  The One who has numbered every one of my days, even before they came into being.  The One who knows the number of hairs on my head.  The One who is actively present and working in my life, even when I don’t recognize it.  I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year I am committing to a change in focus —a daily choice.  I’m choosing my response and attitude to “expectality” in 2014 by using God’s Word as my anchor and steady place when the waves are rocking and storms are pounding down on all my “expectations”.  What about you? Want to join me?  We can encourage one another along the way.  Here are a few verses to get us started:

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

L ord, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble… Jeremiah 16:19

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14 (Side note:  Wait is a really cool word in the Old Testament.  Usually refers to the idea of binding oneself to something, as in tying a knot.  Check out this further study on idea of waiting on God.)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.  And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for Him. Isaiah 64:3

I will continue to post my expectality moments and musings throughout the year.  I hope you’ll join me and share any encouragement you find in the Word by posting a comment.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

Happy New Year!

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Susan Cady

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