Raise Your Expectations

If this year has been for you anything similar to what it has been for me, you may have encountered a lot of intense heat lately. Throughout July was a period of intense heat and pressure.  I was thankful for an opportunity to actually get away for a week with my family and visit family. Part of my time away came on the heels of much negative press for my birth place Baltimore, Maryland. If you are unaware of what happened, a spotlight was shone upon the west side of Baltimore when a presidential tweet went out in response to negative comments made by Congressman Elijah Cummings regarding the southern border.

Image Credit: Benjamin Davies

The result of the tweet stirred many nationwide regarding whether the tweet was racist in nature or whether the president had a right to speak about the city in the way he did. In spite of the spotlight that was cast on the city, it struck a nerve and inspired many to spring into action and say that Baltimore is still a great city, even with all that is going wrong.  

My time in Baltimore, though short, was dominated by visiting my mother who has been facing a battle of the mind. Seeing my mother living with dementia has weighed heavily on my entire family. Yet, even in the time that I spent with her on this most recent visit, there was a spark of hope and expectation that things would be alright. She recognized me, my wife and children, showed excitement about knowing my name, and even had a spring in her step as she and my stepfather saw us off to our next destination. 

As difficult as it is to leave here each time, and as hard it is to know that she is trapped by her mind, I felt compelled to raise my expectations that God is able to reverse her situation, even though I’ve not known or seen it happen before.

Photo by Boni Idem from FreeImages

In the days since my travels, my region has experienced great rains. These great rains have at times bee troubling in the areas that have seen streets that don’t normally flood become flooded. The rains reminded me of Deuteronomy 11:14 which says, “I will provide for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and fresh oil.” It reminded me that all this year has been the year of birthing, harvest, and the expectation of a new wine and new oil. 

The rain reminded me that we are but week away from the ninth month and the Jewish Celebration Rosh Hashanah. The ninth month is a time when mothers bring forth a full-term birth. Even though we are in the eight month we are not far from the ninth month. The rains became a reminder that before a birthing, there is a breaking of water. If you’ve ever experienced your wife’s water breaking, or you have been a mother whose water has broken, you know this is an indication that the time for birthing is close.

As an expectant father, you spring into action. I remember the day my wife went into labor with my daughter, we had everything already packed and ready to head to the hospital for the delivery. My daughter was amazingly born on Labor Day. 

I don’t know what your expectations have been in these last few months. I don’t know if you have had the expectation of this being a year of birthing for anything. I don’t know if you have had any expectation of the outpouring of a new wine or oil. I don’t know if you’ve had any expectation of a harvest. I pray that if this year has challenged you and you’ve felt the struggle and strain of plowing and planting, yet not seeing anything produced; hold fast because Labor Day is coming and a harvest is upon us. Raise your expectations. Although your eyes have not seen, nor your ears heard, and it may not have manifested in your heart as yet; believe that God has something great planned for you! 

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