I was driving, it was late. My brother was asleep in the front seat and I had the music up to keep myself from drifting. I decided, “This would be a good time to pray”. Something was weighing on my heart. Something I considered silly and in the scheme of things, kind of petty to bug God with. But my mind continued to revert and in that moment, I had a real, vulnerable moment with God.
“God, I feel really stupid, bringing this up. But I figure you already know my heart and it’s stupid to act like you don’t. You already see this, you know me and how it’s front and center in my heart right now, stupid or not. So, if there is any way XX could happen, I would really, really appreciate it. But only if it’s your will, because as much as I would like this, I don’t want to seek something apart from you. Amen.”
It was simple, but very heartfelt. Afterwards, I felt a lot of peace. Well, the very next day, when I wasn’t looking for it, I was blindsided by the answer to my very simple, yet very specific prayer. It was one of those things that chance was not going to reason away, because the likelihood was just plain ridiculous. And as I was face to face with the very opportunity I had asked the Lord for…I froze. That’s right, divine intervention hands me opportunity on a silver platter and I just stare, wondering what I should do. I go back and forth, over think, analyzed said opportunity to death and then the moment passed and it was gone. I was shell shocked and still couldn’t believe my prayer had been so obviously answered. My brother, still wing man, just laughed after understanding the scenario.
“Why didn’t you do it?” he asked. I couldn’t explain it, although thinking back, I have greater clarity now. And my brother, being the blunt, awesome guy he is, let his tease become a little confrontational.
“What did you expect praying a prayer of faith? But when you get it, you pee* your pants instead.” (*Note: He didn’t say pee, I just didn’t want to use #2 in this post, let alone the title).
And it was true. I had asked, but I was surprised when I got it. So, this led me down the rabbit hole (I know, my throwbacks to Alice have been MIA for a while). I don’t want to be the bratty kid that looks at God and says “I want this and this is how I want it”, but nor do I want to be the person who asks via lip-service and doesn’t think anything will come of it.
What is the difference between expectation and entitlement? Well, this situation answered that for me.
Entitlement expects specific results and is disappointed when they do not manifest. It isn’t really faith, it’s just wishing—and normally, very specific wishing. Expectation entrusts a hope/dream to faith and is ready to act should it present itself. Expectation is not saying “Hey God, I’d like a number 5 with a side of grace“ and reaching out for your order. But it’s that moment, where you’re bare before God and you honestly give it to him. The expectation part comes into play when you are prepared to act on the trust you placed in God. Expectation is the seed of faithfulness.
So, I’m grateful for this lesson and next time, I won’t pee my pants when my prayer of faith is answered.
Can you relate? How do you define expectation? Any advice for seizing opportunities? (I’m pretty bad at it).