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I would have never guessed that I would receive a lesson on unmet expectations from a simple cup of coffee one morning, but God certainly has a way of teaching us what we need when we need it in the most interesting of ways!
Unmet Expectations – My Morning Coffee
I woke up Monday morning absolutely exhausted. I didn’t sleep well the night before and my stomach was upset so I was just extremely tired and cranky! I knew I needed coffee and I needed it NOW!
I am sure many of you know that feeling where you question how you can function enough to make coffee when you cannot function without coffee?
I stumbled into the kitchen and made myself some iced coffee and grabbed some water and went to sit in my living room. I always have my coffee and my water in stainless steel tumblers that are exactly the same except for the color and design on the outside.
So I sat on my couch and placed my coffee in one cupholder and my water in the other. I was distracted by looking at my phone when I grabbed my coffee and took a sip. Oh boy was I was immediately disgusted!! I had grabbed my water instead.
Now, I need to make it clear; I LOVE water. Actually, that is an understatement! I am literally obsessed with water. I have a tumbler of water with me everywhere I go. I cannot get enough of it. I do not leave the house without it.
Not What I Expected
Yet, when I thought it was coffee, it tasted horrible!
The very thing I usually love now tasted disgusting to me because I EXPECTED coffee when I took that sip. And when you expect coffee and get water (come on coffee lovers, can I get an amen??), your mind immediately processes it as it would as though it were coffee; bad, tasteless coffee.
You see, when we have expectations in life that are met with something other than what we wanted or expected, it can seem unpalatable to us. Even though under any other circumstances we would love what we got, we despise it because it didn’t meet our expectations. Unmet expectations in life cause us to be ungrateful.
Unmet Expectations in Life
Life is like that! Marriage is definitely like that!
When we have expectations of people or circumstances that are not met, we could feel disappointment, disgust, anger, even resentment.
It could have been that what we got instead would have been acceptable to us or even made us happy if we hadn’t placed an expectation on it. But because WE decided what the outcome should be, it was no longer pleasing to us, even if it was good.
An Example of Unmet Expectations in Life
An example of this is a wife who has a birthday. She THINKS her husband is going to get her a gift she really wants. She has been dropping hints about it for a long time. But he comes home and instead of the gift she wanted she received a diamond necklace.
The necklace is beautiful and expensive. He spent HOURS picking it out just for her. But she had an expectation of what she wanted.
So she looks at this necklace, a necklace that she normally would have loved, with disappointment and maybe even anger at her husband who thought he was getting her the best gift he could.
What expectations are you placing on people or situations that are causing you to not enjoy the blessings you receive?
What Are You Expecting From God?
Do you have things you are expecting from God and then getting upset when He doesn’t meet those expectations?
Are you expecting Him to answer a prayer the way you want rather than just looking for His will in the situation? Are you looking at His answers, His blessings, with disappointment just because your expectation wasn’t met?
In the process, you could be missing the blessing.
Praying Like Jesus
Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane crying out to the Father in prayer. Luke 22:42 shows us Jesus saying:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” NIV
Jesus didn’t get upset or angry because He had to go to the cross in spite of this prayer. He surrendered His will in that moment of humanity, that moment of pain and fear, to His Father and He accepted the answer God gave.
Often we pray for God’s will to be done but then get upset when it is not what we expected. It is more than just a flowery phrase we utter during prayer. It is the surrender of our will to His knowing He loves us. It is the ultimate exercise of trust and faith!
Not my will, but Yours be done!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (NIV)
Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing. (NIV)
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.(NKJV)
2 Corinthians 1:20
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (NKJV)
Dealing With Unmet Expectations
Ask God to reveal to you any expectations that you may be placing on Him or on the people in your life and trust God to meet your needs according to His will, not your own!
Confess any times you may have put expectations on God or other people. Surrender yourself to His will in all things knowing He only desires the best for you.
What you get may not be what you expected but it will always be the best!
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Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.