What You Should Expect in Life

I was a young wife, eager to start a family. So from the time that first pregnancy test showed positive, I expected a baby to be placed in my arms. Counting down the weeks, it never crossed my mind that it may turn out differently. 

Because when one gets pregnant, holding a baby nearly 40 weeks later is just how it ought to be. And God delivers on the way things ought to be. That’s just what He does. Right? 

Well, yes. But what ought to be is not necessarily the way you and I want it to be. 

What ought to be is not necessarily the way you and I want it to be. Click To Tweet

For years I expected God to conform to an idea I could understand. Instead He conforms to an ideal I have little understanding of. So I had a distorted view of how He was working in my life. 

Actually, I sometimes wondered whether He was working at all, especially when my pregnancies ended in empty arms.

I was so caught up in what I expected and the “unfairness” of it all, I couldn’t even consider their might be beauty in the ashes. 

watch expectantly

Our Limitations

Our expectations don’t always align with what God has in mind or wants to do in our life. Because we don’t see what He sees. 

Our limited vision skews our perception of what is. Our limited understanding blurs our idea of how things should be. 

We grow up with a certain idea of what our days will look like. That presumption, influenced by media, those around us, our past, and yes, our dreams, becomes a certainty in our minds and hearts. 

We plan around it. Work toward it. Rarely give a second thought to the possibility our ideal won’t be a reality. 

From where we stand, it IS the best plan. 

But what if it isn’t? What if our expectations of what should happen will lead us down a dead-end road? What if our plan looks great but has hidden flaws that will leave us spiritually weak? 

Abraham and Sarah’s Expectations

No doubt Abraham and Sarah had expectations on how their marriage should play out. They would become one, begin amassing an estate, and have children to pass that estate (and their wisdom) to. 

Yet one critical thing remained missing as the years went by: the children. I can imagine that weighed heavy on their hearts. It wasn’t until Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 before they had their son Isaac!

Walking through barrenness for so many years wasn’t what either spouse had in mind when they said “I do.” And they likely didn’t see the hidden fruit growing from their trial either. 

Yet by the time Isaac was born, both had learned critical lessons from their difficult journey. The most important being the faithfulness of the Lord. This lesson alone proved invaluable when God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac.

Abraham’s rock-solid belief in God crowned him “God’s friend.” 

This patriarch and his wife aren’t the only ones made stronger through adversity. 

Growing Through the Storms

In addition to adequate sunlight and water, young tomato plants need to be exposed to wind and harsh elements to become strong. Otherwise, their stems grow thin and weak.

We’re a bit like those tomato plants. Our faith seldom grows strong when life is always sunny. We need the winds and rain to remind us of our own weakness, so we can grow strong in the Lord. 

We need to be stretched and challenged to sink the roots of our belief deep into the cornerstone of our faith, Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet

We need to be stretched and challenged to sink the roots of our belief deep into the cornerstone of our faith, Jesus Christ. God knows this. He knows what’s best for us, even when we don’t. 

So maybe instead of expecting God to keep us from storms, we should expect Him to grow us through them. 

Maybe instead of expecting God to keep us from storms, we should expect Him to grow us through them. Click To Tweet

Maybe we should expect Him to deliver just what we need for each moment. 

Because those are expectations we can count on being fulfilled. 

“At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly…. For You, Lord, bless the righteous one; You surround him with favor like a shield.” Psalm 5:3,12

Reflections: By the grace of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m expecting God to deliver just what I need for each moment. How about you? 

I’m thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “I’m expecting!” as well as Bonnie Gray from Faith Barista. I love these special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the image below to check them out.


By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

8 comments on “What You Should Expect in Life
  1. Crystal Sunshine Hornback says:

    This is beautiful, Julie! I love the tomato plant analogy… it gives such reassurance and is spot on! Thank you for this encouragement today, friend! #livefree

  2. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    I came across this quote several years ago. It’s from Charles Spurgeon. “It was never in God’s design for his people to be untried.” You are right when you say we should allow God to guide us through the storms of life.

  3. It’s so hard to wrestle with God when our expectations aren’t met and the disappointment feels overwhelming. I needed this reminder that He is growing us in the midst of those hard seasons and good will always come of it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Suzie Eller says:

    I’m so grateful that you linked up with #livefreeThursday. <3 You are a joy!

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