by Beth Duewel
Have you wanted to start something new? Have a new goal? Begin a new project? Great! Because every new venture means new opportunity for adventure.
A recent project of mine was taking down the Christmas lights. Adventure, yes, but anything but fun. I was out in single digit temperatures working to deconstruct what took hours to construct a few weeks before! I felt as tangled on the inside as my desperately tangled lights were on the outside. Grrr. And BRRR.
High expectations coupled with high frustration can create a tangled mess of conflict and stress. I’ve never been good at facing either. Mostly I try to outrun them.
When we were expecting our first baby, I expected a lot. I’d read What to Expect When You’re Expecting about a bazillion times. I practically memorized its pages. I expected my husband to read the book, too. But that wasn’t all I expected of him. Everyday he’d come home from work to a list of must-haves like, “My face is totally glowing and I must have the crib and bassinet assembled tonight right after you demo the wall between our room and the baby’s room (big breath here), pleeeeease.”
A few weeks later, in angry frustration, I ran out the door after a silly argument. Misplaced hope and unreasonable expectations were pushing us apart. The more I expected from Jerry, the less I expected from God. I was running in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. My very human husband was no match for my long list of must-haves.
Thankfully, I’m now learning to run to the One who can renovate my heart and give me the makeover I need. To run-o-vate me!
Consider the woman plagued with bleeding for twelve years. Her ailment, according to Mosaic Law, made her ceremonially unclean. Others assumed her outside ailment meant inside brokenness. They were wrong. She faced more even wrongs. Wrong diagnosis. Wrong hopes for a cure. Scripture tells us, “She spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse” (Mark 5:26 ESV). Every hope or expectation of a cure had been frustrated. So when she heard about a man who “healed many who had various diseases” (Mark 1:34), she ran to Capernaum. She put feet to her faith.
The book of Matthew gives us insight into her expectations: “If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole” (Matt. 9:21 KJV). The Greek word translated whole literally means “to be complete.”
She reached for the fringe and felt His power rushing through her. Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). She had properly placed her hope and expectations into the healing hands of Jesus. He alone could truly solve her need.
We have to start with faith. Improperly placed expectation invites conflict, frustration, and heartbreak. Faith guides expectation and hope to the right place. It is a choice to run to Him. To run away from our expectations for every new project or distraction and toward Him alone. He is the new adventure.
Jesus will make the difference between being renovated or exasperated. When we trust Him first, we align ourselves with His plans for us. Which is a very good place to be.
So I say, “Touch the fringe today…and watch the stress melt away.” Too bad I can’t say the same thing for the snow.
“So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Romans 9:16 NASB
Adapted from Fix Her Upper: Hope and Laughter Through a God Renovated Life (Bold Vision Books, 2017) by Beth Duewel and Rhonda Rhea
About the author: Beth Duewel is a writer, speaker, and blogger at Fix-Her-Upper.com. She lives in Ashland, Ohio with her three almost all grown up children, and husband Jerry. She tries to stay refreshed by running fast to Jesus. Catch her recent book release with co-author, Rhonda Rhea, Fix Her Upper: Hope and Laughter Through a God Renovated Life. (Bold Vision Books, 2017.)
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Join the conversation: What expectations do you need to place in God’s capable hands?