One thing I've definitely learned this past year is that life is full of disappointments. No matter how hard I try not to, I will always have expectations and make assumptions that are incorrect. Consequently, there will always be those things which I eagerly anticipate, yet in reality they just turn out to disappoint me. As wonderful as high expectations are, I've come to realize that they won't always be met.
Sometimes, I have high expectations for myself.
I expect to get good grades, to get along with those around me, to get in better shape, to prioritize my schedule, to succeed in things I attempt, to be a good friend, to make the right decisions, to respect my parents, to be bold and courageous, to encourage those around me, to grow in my relationship with God and to faithfully follow Christ. But frankly, I fall short of my expectations. Often. I get frustrated when I fail and discouraged when my good intentions fall through. Sometimes, I disappoint myself.
Sometimes, I have high expectations for others.
I expect others to be considerate, to be friendly, to understand my feelings, to show compassion, to include others in their activities, to give their best effort, to be honest, and to be faithful and keep their promises. Unfortunately, people fall short of my expectations too. People are sinners just like I am. Because no one is perfect, including myself, sometimes people disappoint me.
In a world where people fail me or betray me, and where my shortcomings consistently disappoint me, it's easy to lower my expectations and let my standards down. It's safer to expect less when expecting more means risking the chance of disappointment.
But unlike imperfect human beings who constantly fail and fall short, God never falls short; in fact, he consistently exceeds any expectations we could ever have for him! In the midst of my failings and disappointments, Ephesians 3:20-21 is full of hope and anticipation: "him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." God is faithful, he does not fail. We should never put limitations on what God can do. God desires to magnify himself and glorify his name, and he will always succeed in what he does. Although we may not always know God's purpose or intentions, we can always expect that they are greater than we could ever ask for or imagine!
Always, we should expect great things of God.
This new year, 2013, you and I both have goals, expectations for what this year holds and what it will be like. While there are sure to be joys and successes, there are certain to be disappointments as well. However, no matter the circumstances, no matter the situation, let's make this a year where we expect great things of God. Let's not put limits on what he can do in our lives and in the lives around us. God doesn't always move like we expect him to, but he certainly never disappoints. Don't you think he would delight in doing far more abundantly than anything we could ask or think this year?!
A new season, a new year, and a faithful God.
Lord, we wait expectantly.