I have faith! Sometimes I have to remind myself. It doesn’t always end there. Here are a few more reminders. God is still on the throne. He cares about humanity. He loves unconditionally. He is coming back for his own. He is a prayer answering God. I have more, as I’m sure you do as well. Circumstances occurring, or not occurring around you may beckon the need for such utterances. We are nearing the end of 2016. To be sure, you like myself may still be awaiting a few promises of God. The credits have not yet rolled, and within these last few days of this year, if the Lord tarries, there remains opportunity for him to respond. I don’t recall what I was doing recently, or how a thought came across my mind, but I was thinking to myself that God is the God of great expectations. I thought, yes, he is, but…and before I could say it, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “I am even the God of no expectations!” I paused. I later wept. You mean to tell me that even when I’ve weakened in my opening statement of faith, God is still God? The answer quite simply is yes.
From an early age, I was taught to have faith, and not only have it, but practice it. There are millions of people who believe in something greater than themselves, yet fail to take action and make attempt at something greater than themselves. The opposite end of the continuum is having faith, taking action and failing. I would even go a step further and consider having faith, taking action and as opposed to failing, nothing happens. Its as if stagnation sets in, and you’re forgotten. For example, about two weeks ago, I went to the doctor. I was called to the back of the office not long after my arrival. I went through the traditional height and weight check, as well as taking my temperature and blood pressure and pulse. I was told to “unrobe” and the doctor would be in shortly. I sat and sat; cold and wondering if I was forgotten. I heard voices outside of my room. Well wishes and instructions being exchanged, and yet I longed for that quick knock on the door which signals “my turn.” Funny how the enemy would have us to believe that other folk haven’t waited. He paints distorted imagery, conjures up discomfort to make us believe that only you are “naked and afraid.” Yet, even in our intense points of vulnerability, God is still there. We may take refuge in Psalm 62:5, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” In our silence, we must still hope in him.
What brings me to thinking that he is the God of no expectations? I have a laundry list. When God doesn’t show up in the manner that I’ve either become accustomed or anticipate, my default morphs to not a disbelief that God can’t do it, but instead, what I desire may be a little bit further down as compared to other issues that deem attention. There are still people severely impacted by the floods, our country is polarized in this election season, Black men are being murdered in our streets, we are in October celebrating survivors of breast cancer and paying honor to those who lost their lives to domestic violence. Suddenly my desire to be healed from the discomfort of a gluten contamination looms low. Yet, God is just as concerned about what plagues me as what plagues someone else. Unlike us, he has no minimum to ignore and no maximum to respond. Further, even the time it takes to respond to my need is not hindered as a result of God responding to the needs of others. As I type, I’m pressing through the auditory response the gluten contamination produces. Yesterday, I ran eight miles despite the discomfort. Today, I ministered in dance with a bum leg. Just as we hope for God to move in our situations, we too must continue moving with expectation (uh oh, I said it) as though “we got next” at any moment. He is omnipresent. Psalm 139:5 affirms, “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me.” In our state of no expectation, God is still there. We don’t know all that lies ahead. In fact, if we did, it might be too overwhelming and impact our ability or willingness to exercise faith. What he has in store and planned is beyond our wildest dreams! One thing we can expect is that God will be there.