Great Expectations

Why do you worry[Jesus said], “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

We live in a world filled with expectations. Children are expected to do well in school. College graduates expect to embark on a high paying career. Investors expect their portfolio will pay huge dividends. Life is filled with expectations, some are met, many others are not.

God also has expectations. He expects that humanity will obey his law. He expects that people will worship him as the One True God. God expects his people will love him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and that we will love our neighbor as ourselves. And God expects us to share our faith and bear fruit for his kingdom. Again, these expectations are too seldom realized.

It seems as though there is a disconnect, a wide gap between God’s expectations and those of humanity. Our sinful selves have strayed from God’s goodness and decided to live according to our own expectations. People tend to live for themselves more than for God. We strive to be self-sufficient, personally secure and financially independent. The farther we stray from God’s expectations, the more we fall short; our best effort isn’t good enough. In the end, our sense of expectation is replaced with worry. Why? Simple, our expectations don’t match God’s.

God is the creator and owner of all things. Jesus teaches us that out of his generosity, God supplies everything we need to live a fruitful and abundant life. Even as God cares and provides for the plants and animals, how much more will God care and provide for those created in his image and likeness? The truth is God provides for his people and expects we will acknowledge him for it. As we do, we realize the tremendous blessing it is to be called “Child of God.”

The world expects people will live a certain way, living for self rather than for God and neighbor. God’s expectations are much different, and when we fail to live accordingly, God supplies his grace which is sufficient in every need. For just as our failure to meet God’s expectations weighs heavy on our hearts, even greater is God’s desire to provide for his people.

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