How do you define an expectation – something far out of reach?
I recently had a quick conversation with a wise man who reminded me that hope and expectation are different, but the same. What?
So, I looked both words up in the Greek and found the word hope means favorable and confident expectation. Sounds like faith. The word expectation means reaching out in readiness, to watch toward. Sounds like faith in action.
Right away I thought of my favorite lady – she’s right there in Mark 5 – the woman who suffered chronic bleeding for twelve years. The unnoticed one who pressed in hard against the crowd surrounding Jesus, so she could just touch the dusty edge of His holy garment. The beauty of her journey gave her an expectation driven by faith, if she could only get near enough she would be healed and whole. So, she reached out and believed. No boundaries.
And she was . . . and she received it . . . and she told about it.
But what do we do with the un-expected, the unwanted – do we still reach out and let it make us whole? Her wholeness came by waiting for a dozen years . . . and reaching. Then I thought of my son-in-law, the farmer family. He doesn’t waste sweat and seed for no harvest. He believes the effort will bear fruit. The plow is put to earth in expectation, not just hope. Now I see the difference.
True hope in the Lord isn’t a wish – it’s a confident belief in an unlimited Father.
Of course, if we’re not careful (and human) expectations can go wrong and let us down when we think we should have more, people should be more, and disappointing circumstances should be less. But, we’re not always careful and we are human.
Have you ever expected someone to be just as you designed and they weren’t? Oh, you haven’t?
Maybe we need to lower our expectations in the finite to lower our disappointments. Then reach out high to the One who doesn’t let us down.
God delights in surprising us. Clear through Genesis to Revelation, that’s how He shows up, from a garden to the clouds . . . and that’s how He’ll return. Unexpected, while we wait expectantly.
Who are we that the Lord should notice and pour out unexpected blessings? His.