I Corinthians 3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
If we expect to be able to map out our lives with precision, or even our days with precision, we are heading for disappointment. To a very large extent, life is uncontrollable. It’s a moving object, not one that we can put in its place and expect it to stay there. Change is inevitable. Control is an illusion. It’s like thinking we can take a gallon of water, hold it in our hands without having any container, and manipulate it into a form instead of watching it run wherever it chooses. That’s not to say that it’s unimportant to set and work towards goals. God says His people will dream dreams and see visions. We have to have something to which we can look forward. And we have to have purpose in our lives. But if things don’t go the way we wanted them to, expectations will lead to being frustrated, angry at God, or depression.
Expectations are dangerous. They can suck the life right out of us. And they are often based on pride- the very thing that separates us from the peace of God. Expectations are those things that we set up as what “should” be true in our lives. Well helllllo! We’re not God, we can’t determine how life is going to go. And, having so little control even over ourselves and our own habits, what makes us think we can control others or our circumstances? Nope, we’re just not too bright, are we?
There’s an element of peace that comes from simple acceptance. And acceptance certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that can and should be changed. Acceptance means that we are not going to fight what is true anymore. We are going to accept that life is where it is right now, that we are not in control, and that we are not the director of life with everyone and everything on the stage waiting for us to direct. Acceptance is grounded in humility. Acceptance says- it is what it is and this is God’s show, not mine.
Once we stop fighting what is true and accept that it is true and that it wasn’t owed to us for it to be any different, we have much more peace and freedom. We are then free to make whatever changes we can effectively make and relate to the realities of life instead of what we think those realities should be. And in yet another paradox of God, once we accept that things are the way they are, we have then positioned ourselves in the very most effective place to bring forth real change.
Take away: Acceptance is the key to a deeper experience of peace and freedom in the Lord because it is grounded in humility. We don’t have control over the vast majority of things in life and the sooner we learn that, the better the quality of our life will be. We have to defer where our life is to the Lord and thank Him for His blessings and provisions. Expectations can easily have an element of “I am not happy with God because He hasn’t obeyed me.” to them. And that is pride. Where there is pride, peace is elusive.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for my expectations. Please set me free from them. They are bondage to me and I want to live in freedom, not bondage. Forgive my pride of assuming life should be as I direct instead of how You direct. I will trust you with my life and I will worship you no matter what my circumstances.