Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Great Expectations

I was on plane several months ago, and I sat in front of a woman who was sitting and talking with a friend. She was preparing for her son's high school graduation, and she was explaining what a great kid he was and how blessed she had been. My sentimental heart got the best of me, and my ears perked up to listen to what would surely be a long resume of impressive actions that had this proud momma bragging. She said "he never got into drugs and he never got any girl pregnant". For me, it was as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the plane, and I began frantically looking up for the emergency air bags to drop from the overhead compartment. My cynical side wanted so desperately to turn around and look this woman right in the face and say "seriously?!?!?". But my overriding personality of avoiding an uncomfortable situation at all cost took over and I just sat there. I was sad. I was sad for her and her son. But I think I was generally just heartbroken for our generation.

This world tends to oppress. It oppresses the tired and weak, and it preys on the ones that love, and on the ones that are loved. It preys on the ones that need love, and the ones that think they are not loved. It is the arch nemesis of love and it desires to defeat all that is love. And since God is love, this world we walk through each day certainly is an enemy of God and his people. But what sort of people have we become that we are proud of those that have done nothing more than "not gotten into drugs and have not gotten anyone pregnant". I realize that I know nothing more than a quick polaroid shot of this woman and her son. Maybe she comes from a long line of drug users and to her, this was a major victory. I can understand that. It would be a major victory, certainly in this day and age where drug use is so prevalent. But what I would dare to argue is that my God is bigger than overcoming and breaking family histories. Oh he is capable of it, and willing to show his power through such an accomplishment, but he is so much more than that. And for some reason, I just don't think those were the circumstances of this woman's story. I think this woman had so lowered her expectations of "good", that to her, the landmines that her son had avoided had become his defining attributes of greatness.

I think I am guilty of this too...are you? I often find myself expecting much less of a situation, than I know in my heart God is capable of delivering. Are you in a current situation where you are counting on God to deliver something mediocre at best. Are you asking him for the bare minimum of what you can handle. Are you asking him to get you through something only by the skin of your teeth? I pray you will hear me when I say this to you, God is not in the business of delivering mediocre. He couldn't do it even if he wanted to, for he cannot be less than he is. In fact, he tells us he is "able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine" Ephesians 3:20. So what are you asking for? Is it something great, or minimal? Are you praying that your children would grow up safe and healthy, or that they would grow up to be strong, bold, and confident witnesses of Christ? Do you see the difference? And this is only the part I can imagine and think to ask for...he is capable of even greater things than these for his blessing overflows for those who love and fear him.

I am very aware that there are days where we are too weak to pray for greater things. In fact, there are some days that it is a miracle that we are praying at all. I don't mean to appear self righteous over that. I have been there. Believe me when I tell you that I have known a deep low, a low where even low expectations would have been better than where I was. But I feel like that credits me the right to speak boldly about the power of Christ and expecting great things. The next time your eyes look towards heaven in prayer, think big. Boldly approach the throne of grace, and in the name of Christ make a bold request. He didn't bring back to life the dead, and roll away the stone of defeat, so that we would meekly approach him in request to accomplish the ordinary. He isn't ordinary. He desires you to have great expectations of his capabilities and power, it is proof that we are believing him to be who he says he is. Start expecting great things, expect the extraordinary.



Big Boops said...

I really love your blog. I really do. You are so so right in this post. I'm completely guilty of living this way. And I keep wondering when God is going to "deliver." But all I'm asking is for what I think will get me quietly out of this or that situation. At first thought I say to myself that I'm doubting God for not asking for more. But I really don't doubt God. I think I'm really letting my expectations be ruled by MY expectations for myself not His. When will I ever really stop living for me???? I desperately want to. I truly believe that God can direct my life so much better than I ever could, but its breaking that human instinct thats hard. I love to have the control. God knows all this. And I know he's just waiting for me. Your blog really helps me see all this. Thanks so much for writing it out for me. :)

Jemsmom said...

Beautiful post, Amy and so true. Thank you for always putting into words what we can't always say to ourselves. Your blog is truly inspirational for me.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Wow! What encouragemnt! I needed this today. Thanks. :)

Karen said...

True words of encouragement. I find myself just going through the motions on a lot of days. I know my God is capable of so much more, I just need to let him have his way with me. Thanks for reminding me who I am and who my daddy is.

Ruth H. said...

Oh, wow, what timely perspective. We all have divine natures, and we're capable of much, much more than we can imagine.

The DG Family said...

Thank you for this post! It hit home, beautifully said.

My Bright Corner said...

Sweet end of the post!!

Interesting that you would tie in how the world has lowered its standards of good. I just had a conversation with my Mom today about something I heard today at work. While cleaning in the kitchen, the little girl of my client was in the living room watching tv. I *could* **not** believe what was entering her ears and it was a kids/pre-teen show. What has this world come to? No wonder that mother behind you on the plane was satisfied with so little.

Have I told you how much I adore your blog? A.DORE.!! :)

-t- said...

Thank you for visiting earlier :) It's a pleasure to visit you :}

Last night I was reading Sally Clarkson, Dancing With my Father, chapter six... Your post is sooo in tune with her heart (of course, you have the same Holy Spirit!).

Thank you for sharing & encouraging... isn't it fabulous when you read something one night & the next thing you know the Holy Spirit draws you there again in a new and unexpected venue... confirmation, an invitation to linger a while and discover all He has for you.

What an amazing God we serve!

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