Learn to Adjust Expectations

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. [You asked,] ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand” (Job 42:2, 3).

When people do not meet your expectations there is a temptation to become bitter, pout, and punish everyone around you with your attitude.

I knew a couple who married and had a child. The child was born physically disabled and the parents were devastated. The child did not meet their happy expectations.

They loved their little one and nurtured her, but they allowed their disappointment to ruin their own relationship. They stopped enjoying each other. The husband lost confidence in himself and in life. They stopped dreaming together. If they had maintained their hope and optimism, they might have made it as a couple. The wife was too exhausted from caring for their child to prop him up emotionally.

They finished their lives pretty miserably. They were still together, but they were disappointed, grouchy and unhappy.

I have another friend with a special-needs child. She and her husband accepted the situation early on. They both learned as much as they could about their daughter’s disorder. They decided to believe that God had a plan for her life. They decided to keep hoping.

It has been hard for them. Their child’s physical condition hasn’t changed, but their work has paid off: She is friendly, happy and well-adjusted. God is using this family to help others.

The fact is that people—and life—may not meet our expectations. Happiness depends on an ability to adjust. When our expectations are unmet, it just might be that God has another plan.

Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.

From “Moments for Moms,” a free email subscription.
Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.


Maxim of the Moment

Success is getting up one more time than the number of times you fall down. - Julie Bowden