Being an idealist at heart, I often start my days with the highest of expectations.
Expectation: Wake up with the dawn. Exert maximum energy from the moment my eyes open. Go for a run. Shower. Fry myself an egg and make some coffee at home to save money. Effortlessly find the perfect outfit for the day’s demands. Listen to bluebirds chirping outside my window. Breathe in the warm air, which smells of peonies.
Reality: My alarm doesn’t go off so I get up with barely enough time to shower. It’s raining outside so I might as well give up on my hair. The dress I wanted to wear is dirty. The coffee tin is empty. And my keys have mysteriously disappeared.
Expectation: Accept a surprise reward for being the best employee any employer could ask for. Wow a roomful of people with a story that is both parts heartwarming and humorous. Pen a 200-page novel during my lunch break. Take a quick coffee break at a local café, where I meet a world-renowned publisher who wants to publish my lunch masterpiece ASAP. Run into a movie star. Mysteriously win a brand new car.
Reality: I shove a cracker into my mouth as I finish up work at my desk. Suddenly, I remember that I don’t have anything to make for dinner. I decide to grab some coffee at a local café, but I have second thoughts because it’s blustery and raining outside. I go despite the weather. When I get there, I’m greeted with a giant “closed” sign. Oh, well—I forgot my wallet anyway. My lips are cracked because I forgot to drink enough water, and I wish I could just take a nap.
Dealing with Failed Expectations
Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but sometimes it really does feel like none of my daily plans pan out despite my best efforts. Even on the days when I’m not expecting that much—all I want is for the day to go relatively smoothly—things keep getting in the way of my expectations.
Do you ever feel this way, like nothing in your day goes as planned? Sometimes, it’s the littlest upsets that have the greatest potential to ruin your day.
When your expectations fail to become reality, it’s all too easy to feel angry, to feel like the world is against you, to feel like giving up. But the Bible tells us that, even when your plans don’t go as expected, God still has a plan for your life. He does not fail you the way your daily plans might fail you. If you’re feeling frustrated by failed expectations today, you can meditate on God’s promises to guide your steps, even when you’re disappointed. These 4 Proverbs will get you started:
- You may make your plans, but God directs your actions. — Proverbs 16:9 (GNTD)
- The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking? —Proverbs 20:24 (GNTD)
- People may plan all kinds of things, but the Lord's will is going to be done. — Proverbs 19:21 (GNTD)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. — Proverbs 3:5-6 (GNTD)
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