I had an interesting experience last night. My wife and I had done some grocery shopping earlier in the day so our refrigerator was full and the cabinets stuffed the weekend! After dinner I took my plate to the sink and turned to open the freezer in order to retrieve one of the new desert cakes I had purchased. My mouth was watering with high anticipation of the sweet delicacy! But alas, when I peered into the cold abyss there was not a yummy cream-filled desert delight to be found.
In consternation I suddenly began to recall that I didn’t remember taking them out of a bag and putting them anywhere. So with a sigh, I figured that I must have left them in the car… out in the 100 degree, most likely 90% humidity all afternoon! Okay… no big deal right? I’ll just man up and put my shoes back on and trudge all the way out to the parking lot (about 100 feet away!) and get the bag. But once again I was surprised to find the back seat empty except for Piper’s support pillow.
Now I was getting a little irritated. I wanted my desert! When I returned to the living room I dejectedly sat down next to my wife and pouted exclaiming that the cashier must not have given us our last bag! After a while of feeling sorry for myself, I finally found the receipt and noticed that we were never charged for the desert. At that point I also realized that we didn’t get the coffee and dried fruit that I had tossed into the cart as well. Then I knew what had happened…
The checkout area was pretty busy when we checked out yesterday. We had two or more folks in line behind us and another cashier standing close to Piper in the next line. The gal behind us had begun stacking up her groceries on the conveyor with ours and the cashier must have confused the last few items of ours with hers. This has actually happened to us on a couple of occasions before while in our last residence in California.
The point being, that I was more intent on making sure that Piper was okay in the tight and busy quarters than I was on watching the cashier as she charged us for the contents of our basket. I had to chuckle a bit though, as I thought about the look on the other customer’s face as she unpacked some things she did not pick out and wondered where they came from!
This morning I realized that there was a lesson to be learned in the midst of my consternation last night. When I went to the freezer I was fully EXPECTING to get out a soft, sweet, cream-filled delicacy but because I was not diligent to stay focused on what was going on around me at the time, I was disappointed. I had to settle on whatever leftover, measly old stuff I could find in the kitchen for my desert.
My experience was right in line with Jeremiah’s message in chapter 29 verse 11 when he described God’s plans for us as being the future we were EXPECTING. (See Jeremiah 29:11 in The Message Bible) Proverbs 23:17 puts a better spin on our discussion by encouraging us to “let reverence for the Lord be the concern (or EXPECTATION) of your life.” (Good News Bible) Verse 19 clarifies it even more by stating: “My son (or daughter), listen, be wise, and keep your mind going in the right direction.” (God’s Word ©) Then the 26th verse takes away any question of what that direction is by declaring: “… keep your eyes fixed on my ways.” (International Standard Version)
All these verses make it pretty clear that as we throw in our lot with Jesus and make His EXPECTATIONS ours, then we will know what’s ahead and have a future that is filled with His complete – every need met – shalom peace! BUT… in order to attain this future – His thoughts and plans for us - we must keep our focus steady on Him and the truth of His Word. Losing or allowing our focus to drift will only lead to disappointment that’s probably a lot worse than my having to settle for an old, dry piece of chocolate cake instead of the fresh, sweet, cream-filled concoction I was EXPECTING!
So what will it be? Whatever is available at the time or the peaceful, life-giving, happiness of God’s thoughts and plans for you? Choose to stay focused on His ways as defined in His Word and EXPECT His best to be awaiting you! Have a great weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Which of His Delicacies am I EXPECTING today?”