No expectations – if I could grasp that even slightly it would certainly help me soar and not strive and also live and love with a lot more grace.
We saw last time that God sees us as we are.
Imagine the difference in expectations in these two scenarios:
- You are having your first appraisal in a new job. A few months ago you were identified as the best in your field; head hunted and wooed by the company you now work for. No expense was spared – your line manager has put his neck on the line by hiring you and is basically relying on you to sort things out and get results fast.
- You are a six-year-old sitting in your Dad’s office on a chair that is a little big for you, but it spins! You are doing some stapling and folding and soon it will be time for lunch out with Dad.
The difference in the weight of expectations could not be greater!
I live as though I am in the first scenario – I am not!
We need to believe and trust and remember that God has got it covered – and we need to live that way! He simply doesn’t need to have any expectations of us! Not only is he not surprised or disappointed by our limitations, but he is totally limitless himself. In the language of the above illustration – God doesn’t need to ‘hire in’ any experts ! His enemy is defeated, his kingdom is just how it should be and everything is on schedule and going according to plan.
As Paul writes to the Ephesian church: he [the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1:9-10
When my children do jobs around the house I do a lot of work!
- I identify a suitable task and the time for doing it (and do the ones that are too yucky / tricky myself).
- I reach down the cleaning supplies and lay out the right cloth and spray etc.
- I brief them and ‘train’ them.
- I check what they have done, and either help them where they have ‘missed a bit’ or simply do the high spots they couldn’t reach myself.
- I then supervise the tidying up, and sort out the dirty cloths etc.
- I then pay them so that they have money to buy birthday and Christmas presents*.
This is fine. I am not expecting a perfectly clean mirror – or whatever the job may be. I am not expecting value for money. I’m not even expecting my children to have a brilliant servant attitude and a good work ethic in the way they go about their job. The expectation is on me. I need to be wise in my parenting, I need to use the situation well, and if I want something to actually get clean I need to expect to take responsibility for that myself**.
I say ‘in theory’ because I generally get my expectations muddled. I often do expect those things of them because I am not God. I am just like my children – a small child full of limitations in the care of a perfectly loving Father.
Mums – we are God’s children in Christ Jesus. By his Holy Spirit we call him Abba! Father! God has prepared good works for us Mother’s to do – he has crafted us and prepared the works perfectly – AND not only that but HE has got it all covered.
What does God expect of us as mothers? Nothing. What does he want and plan for us? To keep relying on him as we put one foot in front of the other walking in the good works he has prepared for us.
OK so that was a long tangent, but I think an important one. Hopefully my next post will see us back in the court room summarising not God’s expectations of us as Mothers, but looking at the good works he has called us to in that role.
* Pocket money and money for jobs is an interesting subject – but that is a whole other post!
** I am not advocating encouraging sloppiness, but merely looking at what disappoints / doesn’t meet expectations.