Tuesday, November 14

Expectations Met

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said:

"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.” –1st Kings 8:22-24 (NIV)


My chicken sandwich tasted like coffee. In fact, for the past two weeks just about everything that I've brought from home and heated in the microwave at work comes out smelling like coffee. The scent clings to everything. Thanks to a few administrative changes, we now have a particularly well-known brand of caffeinated liquid available to us in place of the nameless store-brand stuff. I'm not complaining, I like a good cup of coffee. Nonetheless, I didn't pack my lunch for the day salivating at the thought of coffee-flavored chicken.

Just as I have an expectation about what a home-made chicken sandwich should taste like, I also have expectations about how certain people should act and behave. I expect that my boss at work is the type of person who is worth of respect and knows how to delegate authority in order to get a job done. Likewise, he expects me to do my work efficiently and to ask for help when I need it.

I also expect certain things in my marriage, and so does my husband. We don't expect things in ways that make us demeaning or demanding—quite the opposite in fact. By insisting that we each uphold the vows we took as husband and wife, and living them out on a daily basis, we are honoring and loving one another in the greatest way we know how.

I even expect things of God. That may sound presumptuous, perhaps even impudent, but it isn’t. The things I expect of God are those that are consistent with his character. I expect him to have the answers to the things that I cannot and will not ever be able to answer. I expect him to be near me every day as I call on his name. Perhaps my biggest expectation of God is that he will welcome me into heaven because I put my faith in the life, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. I have faith and hope that such an expectation is not in vain.

God expects things of me too. He expects that I will love him even when I don’t understand why. He expects me to faithfully live my life in obedience to him and adherence to his commands. Also, because he knows that I am a flawed human being and completely incapable of living a perfect life, he expects me to fall to my knees in repentance each and every time I fail.

Beyond this world I don’t quite know what to expect. Even in a world with which I’m reasonable familiar and comfortable, things happen here that are unexpected--a coffee-flavored chicken sandwich comes to mind. Maybe those events are just one of the ways that God reminds me that for as much as my life changes his love remains the same. He keeps his covenant of love with his people wholeheartedly. Because of his eternal nature, I can expect that reality to continue forever.

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