With all of its budding, thawing, and basketball “madness” Spring is certainly a season of expectations. Are you sensing the possibility of a new opportunity or challenge coming your way? As we approach a task we may have some uneasiness or forge ahead with excitement. Here’s a look at one of my seasonal anticipations.
In the Spring, I enjoy hanging baskets filled with flowers between the posts around my front porch. However, I am not the only one who appreciates my gardening efforts. Apparently, a hanging basket is a cleverly disguised maternity ward for birds. After a few days of the baskets’ arrival, the feathered moms promptly build a nest in each of my floral containers.
In years past, I’ve placed ping-pong balls or other items in the baskets to discourage the birds from nesting and laying eggs. The items were ignored and the nesting continued. As they remained untouched by human hands, eventually the eggs hatched and the birds flew away. But I was left with dashed hopes and destroyed blooms.
And yet, life is about much more than who or what let us down. The letdown is only a part of an overcomer’s story. The greater narrative is in the regroup or rebound. As a result, I’ve learned to stop hanging the baskets where they cannot thrive. My time and resources are better spent decorating my porch with a more sustainable project.
But simply having or speaking an expectation does not guarantee its fulfillment. Like the birds intruding upon my baskets, there are usually factors outside of our control. If those factors don’t cooperate with our wishes, neither our stack of assumptions nor our sense of entitlement can stop disappointment from arriving.
When it comes to God, however, speaking an expectation is quite a different matter. In fact, when God speaks we are the ones in whom expectation should rise. His Word is established forever. It does not return to Him without accomplishing exactly what He sent it to do. (Isaiah 55:8-11).
Unless we’re dealing with the Almighty, it is probably not a good idea to put all of our eggs in one basket (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Unrealistic expectations will eventually leave us unhappy with the results. The stress of trying to achieve perfection or the disappointment of our preferences falling apart are both relieved by the same antidote — a healthy new perspective.
If you are adjusting to unmet expectations, here’s some good news: we can rebound by having a new expectation in God. Last summer, I purchased large planters to line the walkway instead. It was as if the birds forgot where I lived. There was not one nest in sight. As we seek God for His approach to a task, our last disappointment begins to lose its grip. And that expectation brings hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.” – Psalm 39:7 AMP