Months ago a friend of over 20 years and I had lunch together. Time with this dear woman is precious. She loves Jesus wholeheartedly and desires this same love for her family. Actually, it was her and her husband that did our premarital counseling. We greatly admired them then and even more so now, as the years have passed. I think it is very beneficial to have friends that are older, further down the road. So much can be learned from their hard earned wisdom.
Back to our lunch. I was sharing with her some hard things and she spoke words that I will never forget. When I read these same words from a writer today, I knew it needed to be spoken of. Her words were, “Have no expectations”. What??! That just did not make sense to me. I have always had expectations. Always. Holidays, jobs, meals, relationships, gifts, stores I visit, books I read, and the list could go on, has had my expectations placed on them. Some are not very high, but there none the less. Often I am left disappointed and in the rare case, surprised. My imagination is pretty active and I create how things will play out quickly in my mind. This is not always good. Just thinking about this makes me feel sad and I know I need to repent. People and things simply cannot live up to expectations. Perfection from anyone else other than God is not possible. I’ve typed words on this before.
With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I do not want to go into the day with expectations. In fact, I already know it will not look normal at all. My dad usually flies in to celebrate with us, but illness keeps him at home this year. So it will just be our family around the table. I want to look at the people the Lord has placed in each chair and be thankful. This will be our first Thanksgiving where expectations will be thrown out along with that weird bag of stuff inside the turkey!
Could your Thanksgiving use a removal of expectations too? Could you show up to the table just seeing each person as someone God created? So much time is wasted on unmet expectations. I know this to be true. When family members are missing this really sinks in. So let’s decide tonight, as we prep for tomorrow, no expectations. Let the silly things go and extend forgiveness, for it sets us free. You are not in control of others behavior, but you are in control of yours. Begin your day feasting on God’s word and your heart will be basted in truth. Take control of your thoughts and make sure they are honorable. The Lord knows anyways, you hide nothing from Him. Keep words that are not loving from leaving your mouth. Fill it with good food instead. The person sitting next to you will be grateful. Basically, it all comes down to dying to yourself and living for Him.
May the Thanksgiving of 2018 be our best one yet!