Thursday, March 1, 2012

Atmosphere of Expectation

What would it look like to walk into an atmosphere of expectation?

It happens all the time. Whether it is at a concert where a crowd of people have gathered expecting to be blown away by their favorite band. There is anticipation welling up to the point of tangibility. Everyone might be talking, but they still have one eye on the stage just waiting to get the first glimpse of the lead guy as the band walks out on the stage. But once the band walks on stage the anticipation doesn't end there. As the screaming dies down, it starts right back up at the first note or at the sound of the lead singers voice simply saying a quick "hello" to the crowd. And then the whole time the band is playing the expectation and anticipation turns into joy and infatuation and a sense of awe as you finally got what you were hoping for.

What about the delivery of a child? There is a lot of anticipation built into the delivery of a child... months worth of anticipation! There are preparations made for where the child will sleep, the purchasing of a diaper jeanie, rocking chair, and more clothes than the baby could possibly wear before he or she grows out of them. It also effects the eating habits of the mother because there is an expectation that the baby will be healthy, but that will only happen if the mother takes care of the baby while she is carrying. There is months of expectation all culminate to a new life being brought into the world! Now I won't say that the delivery is the height of the anticipation, because I have never given birth to a baby and chances are I never will, but the anticipation of grows during that time. But then thing you have been expecting for months turns into a reality in the form of a living, breathing being of which you can hold in your arms, you can hear cry, and you can simply enjoy. All of the expectations and months of anticipations turns into total focus on the infant after that. Sometimes it is as if the parents don't even exist.

It seems like the main things that we have high expectations for are all things that we pretty much know will happen anyway. Now I know that there are always circumstances where these things might have complications, but for the most part we know pretty much when and where these events will take place. It seems like the things we have high expectations for only come around once or twice a year, but why is that? My guess is that it has something to do with how exciting your prayers are. Is there anything you are praying for that seems impossible, but if it happened would cause the same reaction as if a baby were born or your favorite band walks out on stage? Would excitement well up inside of you until you couldn't help but squeeze someone or yell and scream until you have no voice?

An atmosphere of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.

There was a woman who was hemorrhaging for 12 years and no one could heal the woman. In fact, doctors took advantage of her and would take her money and leave her worse than she was before. But then she heard that Jesus was in town and she knew that there was something special about him. One day there was a large crowd gathering around him and Mark says that the woman thought to herself, "If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well." But the phrase "she thought to herself" when translated better paints this picture that she continually thought to herself... it was as if she was saying, "If I can just get to him. I need to get to this man. When I get to Jesus I will be healed. Let me get to the man. I need what he has to offer, now let me at him." And the crazy thing was when she touched the edge of his robe she was instantly healed. Jesus knew that she had been healed, but when he turned to ask who touched him, the disciples thought he was going crazy because there were tons of people around constantly bumping into him. But he knew that someone very deliberately touched him. When he found the woman and she told him the story of why she had touched him, his response was, "Daughter, you to a risk of faith, and now you are healed and whole." Because of her expectation of what would happen when she touched Jesus she was healed. Because she had faith and had a very specific picture of what would happen if she could just get to Jesus and touch his robe, she was healed. Lots of people touched Jesus that day, but she was the one that was healed because of her faith and expectation of what would happen when she touched the Son of Man.

An atmosphere of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.

Faith is not some sort of feeling it is a cognitive choice that we make. So what is it that you are asking God to do that only God to do? And will you choose to have the faith to wake up each day and live expecting something great to happen in your life?

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