Avoiding Disappointment

Listening for the Lord’s direction is a topic of many conversations. First of all, everyone wants to know how to “hear God”. Does he have an audible voice?  What does his voice sound like? Is this the way everybody hears God?  Some people hear God speak to them personally through the Word of God, while reading the Bible, when something related to the text aligns with a current circumstance or situation and brings peace and comfort. Often there is the opportunity to repent of something or rejoice over something that applies personally. 

Some people sense the direction of God through meditation, sitting still in quietness, asking, and waiting for God to impart something. Recently I had direction from the Lord in this way, through a time prayer, of self-evaluation, and of resetting priorities. The direction was to move cross-country to be with my daughter. This move involved closing up an apartment, leaving my work, my regional activity with a national ministry, my friends and church family, and the geographical area of familiarity. Going forward always involves leaving something behind.

My daughter has an unfinished in-law apartment attached to the carport of her beautiful three-bedroom home. She bought this house with me, a widow, in mind. Once the decision to move was made, things worked rapidly to move me earlier than I had originally planned. Each day I placed my expectations on God and saw daily evidence of his direction.  That built my faith in the decision. My assignment is to open the apartment.  I have worked with building contractors in a variety of other life experiences, so I felt confident in this venture.  Somewhere in my thinking, however, hid the thought that I would be able to move, make connections, and have everything in place within three months.  When I voiced this to my daughter, she said, “I just don’t want you to be disappointed.” at which I had the pithy reply: “If I’m disappointed it will be because I have had my expectations in the wrong place rather than on God.”

As it stands now, six weeks into my three months, we have only just begun the process of applications, approvals, and various business estimates.   Yet recently I considered the transition and doubt crept in: was it really God speaking to me?  Again, I went to prayer about this and discovered this:  when I put time limits on God, I will often have unmet expectations.  He is God and I am not. His timing is perfect. My move cross-country was perfect timing. Today I have a beautiful roof over my head, more than adequate sleep/office space, privacy as needed, and companionship with my daughter while living in her home. Setting a time limit for opening the apartment only opened a door to doubt in my hearing God.  I have all that I need today.  None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Whenever the apartment opens will be perfect timing.  Those I meet along the way are those God has chosen for his divine interactions.

How about you?  Are your daily expectations on the timing of some circumstance or on hearing from God?  Are you waiting for the weekend, vacation, retirement to obey what God has whispered or set deep in your heart?  Set your expectations on God and you will not be disappointed.