I noticed a few years back, that our now eleven year old Australian Shepherd was beginning to lose her interest for breakfast. Sometimes she would wait by my side as I filled her bowl while at other times she’d just sit next to my wife near the screen door and observe what I was doing from afar. My immediate thought was she didn’t like the fancy food we were giving her, so I began to try different varieties. By the time we got here to North Carolina it was a regular routine with her. She usually looks at her bowl, walks away and might return within a few moments or a few hours later to consume it.
I finally talked to the vet and after a thorough exam and various tests without finding anything wrong with her, we tried some professional feed and saw no change in the dog’s eating habits. Following that we came to the conclusion that the dog is just a picky eater! This morning we played out the game again! I filled up her bowl, topped it with some meat drippings, called out to Mandie… who was resting in her chair about four feet away… and watched her slowly step off the chair, stretch out and then casually walk to her bowl where she simply looked back at me and then sauntered off to the area rug in the living room!
Her tune changed rather quickly though (as it normally does), when I placed a piece of breakfast sausage into the frying pan. Instantly she was sitting at my side with a pleading look upon her face! Well, I guess I am just getting soft in my older age because I flipped her a small bite which she devoured. After consuming the tasty snack, Mandie jumped on the couch, rolled over on her back and began to roll back and forth and bark! Her antics caused me to burst into laughter for she had the funniest look as she glanced my way, while upside down on the furniture. At that point I exclaimed to my wife, “Do you see that? She looks like she’s expecting something!” Then after a couple of minutes the dog jumped off the couch, went over to her bowl and gobbled down her breakfast!
That look of EXPECTANCY got me thinking about my preaching classes in Bible School. As I began to study in preparation for my first practice sermon before the class, I sat alone in the living room of the duplex we were renting, and came across Hebrews 11:1 in my newly purchased God’s Word © Version of the New Testament. That one little verse set my life on a power charged journey that continues to grow in me today… some six years later.
As a born again, Spirit filled Christian, active since the mid- 1970’s in a denomination that stresses the importance of faith, I was quite familiar with and had memorized Hebrews 11:1 but I had never seen it in the light of this modern and in many places, amazingly accurate translation. My little red leather bound copy of The God’s Word © translation, which has a forward written by the Reverend Billy Graham, explains that “Faith assures us of things we EXPECT and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.”
On that day in that funky little duplex, the revelation of the power of our EXPECTATIONS set my faith aflame with excitement, hunger and a new found love for Christ and His Word. That teasing look of fun, excitement and challenge in our dog’s eyes while lying upside down on our couch this morning rekindled that revelation of the question that I heard myself asking on that day and every day since: “What am I expecting today?”
Looking back now, I can see how it had to have been part of God’s plan to prepare us for and help us through the journey we are in concerning the attack on my wife’s health. That one single question has caused me to really investigate and come to terms with all my beliefs and acknowledge whether I really believe and am committed to what I have been teaching to others for the last 40 plus years or not!
And while I am still looking at what’s inside of me, I have come to the conclusion that I have been around the truth, love and power of God and His Word and have witnessed too many miraculous signs and wonders… beginning with the healing of a teen’s broken arm at the very first snow camp we brought our group to when we were young Youth Ministers in the mid-1970’s… to not excitedly EXPECT God’s best in the face of ANY negative situation, any need, any sickness or disease as well as anybody’s words of doubt and unbelief!
What are your thoughts on this subject? Better yet, what are your EXPECTATIONS when it comes to God’s Word working in your life? I would encourage you to think on that for a while this week. It very well might be the catalyst that will turn your life and your “world upside down!” (See: Acts 17:6) Have an astonishing week! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”