Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Expecting the unexpectable

Yes, the title phrase is altered on purpose. I am struggling with expectations lately. Specifically, what I think others expect from me, and what I should expect of myself. I tend to beat myself up when I do not meet certain expectations.

This past month, I have had a "mountain" in my path. A financial mistake I made caught up with me and has caused me and my wife a lot of stress. I have been beating myself to oblivion over this. "How could I have been so careless?" "Why I am I so stupid?" "I am just no darn good." My side of the family has all but abandoned me, but before that, they made sure and confirmed what I had already been saying about myself.

So yesterday I bottomed out. I broke. I went to the Lord while driving to Tracy's work to take her lunch. I said, "What am I gonna do?" The Lord just said, "Play some praise music." Read my post called, "Things I Love" to get my feelings about praise music to see the irony of this request. But I obeyed. First, I put in of my actual favorites, "In the Presence of Jehovah." That song used to move me to tears within 4 notes. Not yesterday. Frankly, it was the only song on that CD that I had ever really listened to. So I said, "What now, Lord?" He said, "Let it play." So I did. Then I heard what He wanted me to hear.

Come into the Holy of Holies
Enter by the Blood of the Lamb
Come into His presence with singing
Worship at the throne of God

Lifting holy hands, to the King of Kings
Worship Jesus

While I and my kin have been beating me down, the Lord, who has the only opinion that really matters, invited me into His presence. Where no one else really wanted me, nor I myself, Father says, "Come on in, Todd. I want you."

Expectations. What does the Lord expect of me? He says, "Abide in me." Live with me, and let my words and my Spirit live in you. So uncomplicated, and yet so meaningful. We place so much pressure on ourselves that God does not place on us. We are tired and weary, when in fact can be refreshed in the Lord's presence. That is not to say we should just sit and listen to praise music all day long; we will do that in Heaven. The Lord expects so little of us, and yet it is in those expectations of His that we find strength to continue and where we find the joy of the Lord, which is our strength.

My mountain has already been moved, and I was so focused on that mountain I didn't even see it move. The bitter truth is, I didn't believe it would move at all. While driving back from taking Tracy her lunch, I said, beating me up again, "Lord, I have so little faith." He reminded me, "If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains." He doesn't expect me to have big faith. He takes the little bit that I do have and increases it day by day as I abide in Him. Wow!

I sure didn't expect all that yesterday.
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