Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.
- John 7:43
Expectations create division. This is a problem all throughout our culture. Every HOA battle, every marriage conflict, every workplace kerfuffle suffers in some way, shape or form from confusion around expectations.
There’s no great disappointment without great expectations.
This truth could cause us to pull back, to expect less from people, from life and from God. We might imagine that a life free from expectations would free us to experience everything that comes our way as a gift and a surprise. We might imagine that we would traipse through fields of gratitude all the days of our lives. This is a lovely fiction, but it is fiction.
The fiction fails when it comes to God, for everyone who comes to God comes with expectations. All throughout the Scriptures, this story plays over and over and over again. Abraham and Moses, Hannah and David, Esther and Mary … they all have expectations that shape the way they interact with God.
All attempts to approach God without expectations fail. Instead, we come to God with unexamined, ill-formed, beneath-the-surface expectations and respond with immaturity when God fails to meet them. Neither gratitude nor surprise can live in this environment.
Jesus fuels people’s expectations. He sparks them to expect great things. He points out their hunger and their thirst. He is no enemy to expectations; though he does reserve the right to shape and reshape all our expectations … and to lead them on an expectation-filled path toward tremendous gratitude and breath-catching surprise.
Take some time to day to be honest with God about your expectations of him. How do you expect him to act? How do you expect him to impact your life? How do you expect him to relate to you? Hold your expectations honestly and loosely, inviting God to meet them or change them today.