Jared Wilson on Expectations

( I couldn't say it any better than Jared Wilson. . . so, I"ll just add some emphases.  This can be a life-changing truth, if applied. Ask God to lead you into greater understanding of your own expectations and wishes, and how those things are stealing your joy  --Aaron )


"Outside the Bible, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's little book Life Together is probably the most influential book on my life, or at least on my ecclesial life. Bonhoeffer's stuff in that book on "wish-dreams" is crucially helpful. We all have wish-dreams for our churches. Big ideas, big hopes. And they don't have to be about church. We all have wish-dreams about just about everything in our lives -- we have dream jobs, dream spouses, dream families, dream lives. And we're constantly comparing the wish-dream versions of these things with the versions we actually have. Many a marriage struggles because spouses keep holding up to each other the impossible standard of the wish-dream. And many a pastor struggles because he keeps holding up the church he's been stewarded to his wish-dream of the church he wants.

If you find yourself constantly measuring, constantly frustrated, constantly seeing all you don’t have, Bonhoeffer actually says you should be glad that God has led you into this predicament, because it means you're realizing you have a wish-dream that needs to be "shattered by God" (his words).

Bound up in Isaac were all of Abraham’s hopes and dreams. Isaac was the child God promised. Isaac was the child Abraham and Sarah had schemed to conceive in ways other than by God's providence. Isaac was his parents' wish-dream. And I imagine Abraham had a vision for how God's promise to multiply his descendants and expand his legacy into eternity would play out, and I imagine this lonely scenario of taking the wish-dream up the mountain to slay it was not it.

Whatever it is, we all have a vision for how life is supposed to go, what life is supposed to be like, what we want and how we want it and the way we want to feel about it, but then actual life happens, and when our heart is tuned to only find joy in the dream, we will never find joy, because we’ve placed it in a mirage."

---Jared Wilson


I will add that our current dreams and wishes will one day prove to be too small as God unleashes His glory in the new creation.  It's in the "now" where our expectations can get us into trouble.  But, rest assured, . . . those desires we all have are calling out for something, one day which we will see blown away by the majesty of God )