Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Expectancy Vs. Expectation

Monday, I had a doctor's appointment so I took Your God is Too Safe along to read in the waiting room. Although I am thoroughly enjoying this book, I have been reading it for over a year now and am only on page 156. I don't have much time to devote to reading, especially things that require concentration. This book is so thought-provoking that I generally only read a couple of pages at a time. I have dog-eared and underlined all over the book. Mark Buchanan's writing is chock full of Truth; there is much to chew on.

The chapter I read Monday was about practicing the presence of God. Somewhere on one of my bookshelves, I own a copy of the Brother Lawrence book with that title, but have never actually read it. Once I finish this book (in 2009 at this rate), I am going to have to pull Lawrence's out.

Buchanan makes lots of wonderful points about what it means to practice the presence of God and why it matters, but the thing he said that has really resonated with me for the last 36 hours was the difference in waiting expectantly for God versus our expectations of God. As Buchanan puts it, "Expectancy is the belief that God will do something. Expectation insists that He do it just this way."

Re-read that last sentence. I am soooo guilty. How about you?

As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
"What things?" he asked.
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Luke 24:15-21a (NIV)

How often in my life am I just like those disciples on the road to Emmaus, so blinded by my expectations of how God "should" show up that I miss that HE IS RIGHT THERE!

This is our call, to love Him and trust Him at His Word. He will never leave us or forsake us. He causes all things to work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Psalm 139 promises that there is nowhere we can go to flee His Spirit.

"When we practice the presence of God, we will come to a point in our relationship with Him in which we walk in continual expectancy. Each moment brims with the possibility of encounter and discovery. We become conscious that every breath is given by Him, each word is spoken in His hearing.

We drive down the street, stand at the sink, pluck weeds from the garden, hammer nails into planks, hang clothes on the line, write a poem on a napkin. We preach, we pray, we sing, we weep. In all these things God is present. Whether we notice Him or not is a matter of vision, attentiveness, alertness--practice." ~Mark Buchanan, Your God is Too Safe

I want to notice. It brings meaning to my days, purpose to my activity, hope to my life. I want to be expectant.


Barbie@ Mamaology said...

Amen! Thanks for this word to think on.

Cori said...

This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Even though you don't know me, please pray that I keep this in mind over the next few weeks.

Courtney said...

that was really great...thanks for sharing. God is so good

Mayhem And Miracles said...

I just loved this post. :)

Jeremy & Heather said...

WOW! Great reminder! I've read Lawrences book but how soon we forget! We are going through a time right now and I think I just might be expecting God to do it my way without even realizing it. I surely want things to work out a certain way. It can be tough when times are tough. Thanks for the reminder!

Linda said...

Wow!!!I needed that this morning. Thanks for being so transparent and sharing your life and what God is doing through you.

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

as I sit here nursing, preparing to keep the babies at VBS, tag clothes for a consignment sale, and listen to my oldest read, I am blessed by your words. thanks for sharing! I will go into my day expectantly!

Matt and Amy Snow said...

What a precious reminder! So true, so true! We are going through a tremendous amount of change in our church right now and I KNOW the Lord is moving in a mighty way----it's just not the easy/comfortable way that my flesh desires. Thank you for this articulate reminder. I feel like He wrote it for me!

Shea said...

Saw in your earlier post that you are from PC - Did you go to Smiths Station?

Sara said...

Thanks for this post, it's just what I needed this morning. So often I, too, expect God to work in a certain way, and then miss what He is already doing because I'm focused on my expectations. I'm going to change the way I pray!

Belle-ah said...

OH, Jenn...I am in such a "dry" season right now maybe this book would help moisten the cracked, dry surface that I seem to have grown in the last few weeks/months. Thanks so much for writing about it.

Mindy said...

WOW! THanks for this! What a reminder for me!
I want to notice too -- for the right reasons of just being with My LORD!

Thanks again!
In HIM -

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

I have read this book twice and each time walk away changed. Awesome post! Makes me want to take it off the shelf again.

Triplet Mama said...

I haven't found Jesus yet, but I am looking.
What are your thought on Joel Osteen?