I once heard it said “It’s a bad goal if your goal involves someone else.” Applying this wisdom has often saved me from self induced stress. A variation on this would be, “It’s a bad expectation if it involves someone else.” Yes, there are instances when you can, and should, expect someone to fill an expectation but I’m not speaking of that. I think I could safely say that expectations are at the root of all disappointments.

The holidays for example. We spend weeks shopping, decorating, cooking, and planning surprises–all with the expectation that peace, joy and happiness will perfectly well up inside like the ending of a romanticized Christmas story. But when we get to that day and we burn our favorite dish, family members we thought were coming don’t, or Aunt Mildred said something she shouldn’t have, we find the magic of the moment has been lost and we slide into an expectation induced depression.

Christmas is over, the decorations are starting to loose their charm. My thoughts shift to the new year. What can I expect? I can’t expect it to be perfect without pain, trials or loss; however I can expect God to personally go before me providing comfort for loss, courage for trials, and peace in exchange for stress. For He has promised that He will neither fail or abandon me.

Happy New Year!

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic… For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

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