Words of Worth

Great Expectations

March 15, 2012

A friend of mine and I often joke about lowering our expectations. “Expect nothing,” we say, “and then you might be pleasantly surprised!” For some reason, that always makes us laugh, although sometimes a bit ruefully if we have had our hopes dashed or we are facing a difficult situation. But one morning, these words from the book of Joshua leapt off the page at me:

“Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’”    Joshua 3:5

The word for “consecrate” means “to sanctify, prepare, or dedicate”. I’m not sure exactly what consecrating looked like for the Israelites camped there by the Jordan. Maybe they took a bath, cleaned up around the tent, or put on special clothes, but one thing they knew for sure: God was going to show up the next morning and do a wonder among them! Imagine the anticipation! Did anyone go to sleep that night with lowered expectations?

Then, of course, I wondered – what if I lived like this? What if I took the time every night to prepare for the wonderful, marvelous acts of God in my life the next day? What would I feel or experience? Would I go to sleep with lowered expectations?

Paul’s unshakable faith throughout the book of Philippians shows how much and how often he expected God to work wonders. Throughout everything he had experienced and even chained to a Roman guard while writing this epistle he is reminding the Philippians of their true citizenship and what they can expect.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under his control will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21

Paul expected great things from God on a daily basis and he also eagerly awaited the “one day” that all would be transformed by the power of Christ.” I think that realization and belief was another stone in Paul’s foundation of JOY.

What am I missing because I am not expecting? What am I am not seeing because I am not looking for God’s wonders? What if I went to bed every night anticipating great things the next day?  After pondering these verses, I wrote out a little prayer:

“Lord, You do great wonders every moment of every day from managing the split second timing of the sun’s arrival for me to its setting in just the right spot so it is rising for someone else in another part of the world. My heart beats throughout the night, every night, and I am not even aware of it – what a wonder! But what am I missing because I am not anticipating and not consecrating myself at the end of each day? Sanctify this complacent heart of mine and open my mind to receive Your truth. Clear my vision to behold Your wondrous works. Amen.”  (CT)

%d bloggers like this: