I'm sitting in an English country garden writing today's blog for Heart Matters Publishing. As the summer days turn to autumn I'm glad the mornings are still warm enough to invite this morning's moment. In fact, I sat here a couple of weeks ago too, surrounded by books and Bibles, a gift tag slotted in as a marker in my latest read, Secrets of The Secret Place, a cup of coffee and shadows speckled on the weathered table. Such sweet memorable moments, and on this morning I found myself not only taking a deep rest-filled breath of fresh air, but also meditating on part of Psalm 62, specifically looking at verses one and five.
"Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my Salvation" (62v1)"My soul, wait patiently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him" (62v5)
"My expectation is from Him?" I said out loud with a question mark at the end. I really don't think I had contemplated this wording before. That my expectations could come from Him. The word they have translated, tikvah, which is the word hope. Of course, I have thought of God being the source of my hope, but in reality I think my hopes have been more mixed with messy emotion and fear. Hope is a wrestle point for me, but I know it at my core. I have sometimes engaged with hope by doing things for a predetermined (by me) outcome. I have innocently hoped but with the background nose of "I hope I'm enough." I have even been sick because the "hope differed" (Proverbs 13 v 12) thing is real.
Growing up I hoped for the best and usually ended up disappointed. As a two on the enneagram, my hope was attached to getting needs met in me that pride and ego enjoyed holding their ground on. As I got older I then started to believe that having expectations was unholy and not how it was designed at all; in fact, I believe I had to lower my expectations, which was safer and would leave me less vulnerable. Less expectation meant less attachment to outcome, and learning to be present was really the key to it all. Be present WITH faith and lean into the unknown without expectation. That's why this translation of the verses in Psalm 62 surprised me a little. Yes, the word hope is more familiar in this version, but expectation, well that has moved me to hear and experience it more expansively. Is expectation available in the present?
So, back to the gift tag. The unassuming bookmark that I spoke about earlier. A number of years ago I was in Israel with a friend and we both ended up buying the same ring. She bought hers first and then later that day in a trinket shop nestled amongst other gifts was the same ring. A silver band with the words, "I am my beloved and my beloved is to me" written in Hebrew. The ring fit perfectly. It was a gift, a little heart hug from God in the old city of Jerusalem. Now, here I was sat in the garden with the same ring on my hand, thinking about expectation and hope. The secret place was unravelling my heart again to this truth of being the beloved and I was noticing my hope and expectation to know love in new ways.
I took the gift tag and attached it to the ring and it felt very powerful. The image grabbed my attention and I decided to call it "Expectation." My heart has shifted, I have changed, and I felt this rush of love and humility warm through me in revelation. It was just like the psalm says. I have been waiting patientlY; my whole being has waited and arrived in a new experience of presence, of God's love. Eternity flooding the present moment and knowing God as my expectation. This is expectation in the present moment and I hope from within in a new way. It's safer now and to say my expectation is from God releases me from the shame of my own hope and disappointment, from the wrestle to cling on to outcome in the future or somehow the illusion that my hope could change the past.
Friends, say it out loud, "My expectation is from you God". Be released into the present with a new hope, a new experience of faith that eternity will meet you here. What image comes to mind for you? What memory and story bridges you to present expectation? As Psalm 62 v 1 says, and I will end here, "Truly my soul silently waits for God, from Him comes my Salvation."