Expectations

by Fran Sandin

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 2: 9,10 NIV).

Margaree Harbor—the name slid off my tongue like a spoonful of ice cream on a hot summer day. We were in a time before online reservations and photos, but the name on the advertisement had me envisioning a perfect get-away on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The details described it as situated on a hill facing the harbor. I imagined beautiful lights, moonlight shimmering on the water, and yachts skimming along the sea or peacefully docked in their berths. Yes! It sounded like the perfect romantic stop along our journey.

However, as my husband, Jim, and I arrived to our destination, we saw no people and no houses. We thought the city must be in the other direction, so we again tried to follow the map, all the while thinking…surely this is not the place. As gravel pebbles popped beneath our car tires, we viewed the “harbor”—a dried up ravine with an abandoned, rusty, fishing boat lying on its side, a string of colored Christmas-tree lights swinging from bow to stern. No water in sight, but lots of weeds.

Then we looked up the hill to a tall, narrow, frame house with dingy, white-flaking paint, the windows askew, and a sagging front porch. Jim, and I looked at each other and struggled to smile. We double-checked the address. Yes, this was it.

When we gained the courage to knock on the front door, a man in overalls answered and cordially showed us our room upstairs with a shared bathroom down the hall. The three-story monster was a 1927 farmhouse, filled with what were the original furnishings. Thankfully, no one else came to stay and share our bathroom. We endured one night there but enjoyed our other destinations.

From that vacation on, our experience caused me to be skeptical when reading travel descriptions.

But there is a travel destination, one worthy of our trust, described in the Bible. It is the perfect location, visited by reservation only. Heaven. The Bible tells us this special place is created by God Himself. Jesus is there now, preparing a place for us to dwell (John 14:2).

The Holy Bible contains no false or misleading information. Heaven is a real place, reserved for believers who have repented of sins and trusted in Jesus as our Savior, because He paid the penalty for our sins with his own blood. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus was the Son of God, died and was resurrected, then our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Acts 16:31).

God does not want anyone to perish, but all to be saved. With the life of the Spirit in us, we have already have eternity in our hearts today.

Dear Father, thank you that your Word is true and we can depend on it. In a world that is always changing and sometimes deceitful, YOU never change—We can trust you. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. In sending your dear son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins, we are given the opportunity to make a reservation in Heaven, a place of magnificence because we will gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. No disappointments there. Thank you, dear Lord. In Jesus’ name, A-men. 

fran sandlinAbout the author: Fran Caffey Sandin is a retired nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother in Greenville, Texas. She enjoys baking, flower arranging, hiking, and traveling with her husband, Jim. Fran is a church organist, a core group leader for Community Bible Study, and author of See You Later, Jeffrey, and Touching the Clouds: True Stories to Strengthen Your Faith. and has co-authored others. Jim and Fran are parents of two sons awaiting them in Heaven; a married daughter and son-in-law, and three fabulous grandchildren.

Visit Fran at her website:  www.fransandin.com

Join the conversation: What are you looking forward to when you get to heaven?

 

Photo by Éva Balogh on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Get Run-O-Vated

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

beth duewelAbout 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.)

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random numberScreen Shot 2017-12-22 at 1.58.43 PM generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Beth’s book, Fix Her Upper,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What expectations do you need to place in God’s capable hands?