How often does Jesus say to us, “Look at Me?” When we look, do we gaze at Him with specific expectations?
“If I look to You, Jesus, You’re going to make everything okay, right?”
“You’re going to help me get better at this skill, or solve that problem, or give me this thing I really want . . . right?”
We look to Him with our own set of expectations.
In Acts 3, a lame man rested at the temple gate called Beautiful. As Peter and John walked past him, he looked at them. Expecting—hoping—for alms to provide food for his next meal.
Peter and John said, “Look at us.” The man looked, but I’m not sure he really saw them. Not at first. He may have waited, possibly with hand out. Perhaps ready to receive from them. Then he’d be ready for the two men to move on so he could draw the attention of the person behind them, with his hand extended again.
Peter and John had something completely different in mind.
They knew what they had to give, and it was so much better than enough money to pay for bread and drink. What they had to offer was so much better than what he could have dared hope for.
They gave him Jesus. The reality of not only spiritual healing, but physical healing.
How often, when Jesus says, “Look at Me,” do we look at Him, expecting something our human minds can conceive? For me, it’s all too often. I don’t even think to look beyond what I believe I need, to something greater, something better.
God’s plans may or may not include answering our immediate prayers with a “Yes.” They may or may not include making our hopes and dreams a reality. At least not in the now . . . maybe not in the future.
This I know, when we release our expectations . . . when we lean into the plans God has for us? They are so much better than the plans we come up with for ourselves.
When we look to Jesus, we should look with eyes that expect His best for us.
With a heart yielded to His plans, to His unexpected surprises . . . with anticipation for what he wants to do in and through us.
But, we need to release our expectations for things to be done on our terms, and in the ways we envision.
He may not give us the thing we’ve always dreamed of. For me, that’s publishing a book. For you, it may be something else.
If Jesus uses us to touch the lives of those around us—if we follow the opportunities He gives us to share Him with other people—isn’t that the main thing anyway?
When we allow God to change our expectations, our hearts can be at peace with Him and with the path He has us walking on.
When we release our expectations into His care, then we can live with confidence.
And, just as Jesus healed the lame man at the Gate called Beautiful and far exceeded his expectations, He wants to work in and through us far exceeding our expectations.
When we live with the intention of pleasing our Audience of One, then we can be used by Him in unexpected ways. And, we can be a part of the unexpected surprises He has for us and those whose lives we touch.
What about you? When have you looked to God expecting one thing and He gave you something entirely different? How do you handle disappointed expectations?