I use the devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers to begin my daily Quiet Time. I’ve also been sharing each days devotion with the Gift of the Home group. Today’s was something that I struggle with, as I’m sure you all struggle with, expectations of others.
Chambers states, “It works in this way – if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive, we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give.”
I’m guilty of this offense in so many ways, so many times. We look to someone we love to fill all the emptiness that we can’t bear to deal with; we look to them to make us whole. We expect that their love will provide for us all that we are lacking. We imagine it, we dream it. But no matter how much they love us they can not fill us. When this happens, we feel hurt and lash out at them in some way’ moodiness, discontentment, disrespect, disdain, critical words or the silent treatment. we quickly forget that they are human beings.
It’s been a long, difficult road to accept that it is God who fills our emptiness, who makes us whole. It will always be difficult because we are human beings after all. We love someone and want them to love us in the way we think we need. We love someone and we try to fill their emptiness. Our expectations, our responses are damaging to ourselves and each other. There in and of itself is the problem. We are looking to others and to ourselves when we should be looking to God in all things.
I’ve thought a lot about this sentence as I’ve gone about my morning. I’ve looked back and have seen where my expectations of others led to disaster; how I didn’t see things clearly because of my expectations. I’ve looked back and have seen how my responses were when they didn’t live up to my expectations of them.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I put others before my God. I am ashamed that I thought someone besides God could fill the empty spaces of my heart. I am ashamed of my reactions when I didn’t get the expectations I wanted. I am ashamed that I thought I could fill another’s emptiness and make them whole. I am ashamed that I did not look to God to fill me.
I have been trying to let go of that aspect of being a human being. It’s difficult but each day I pray that I will allow God to be all He’s meant to be in my life.
I must always remember: Human beings can not fulfill you in the ways that God can ~ it’s not humanly possible nor are they supposed to.