Freedom from Our Unnecessary Expectations

When I was 8 years old, my family and I spent a few weeks of the summer at our friend’s condo on the beach in Michigan. It was part of a camp and conference center, and one of the things they were known for was their ice cream shop.

Summer. Beach. Camp. Ice cream. It was everything you could hope for as a kid in the summer.

That first summer we spent there, I couldn’t wait for mom to take me to the ice cream shop. I had been told the kid’s size cone was a big as your face, so I had high hopes this would be the most amazing ice cream cone of all time.

We walked into the ice cream shop, and I knew exactly what I was getting: mint chocolate chip in a cone- kiddie size, please. My hopes and dreams were realized when they handed it to me a few minutes later, and it was indeed as big as my face. Everything was amazing for about the first quarter of the cone. Mom started to notice my countenance falling, and she leaned over and asked, “Everything ok, honey?”

I looked up at her defeated and whispered, “I’m so full.”

She smiled and replied, “Well, you don’t have to finish it all, Michayla.”

I shook my head at her and my eyes welled up with tears as I pointed to the words imprinted on my ice cream cone: “Eat It All”

“I have to. The cone says so! It says I have to eat it all.” I cried.

After my mom realized how seriously I was taking the branding of the cone, she composed herself (it is pretty funny looking back on it) and explained to me that “Eat It All” was not an expectation, it was the company that made the ice cream cones.

As silly as that is now that I think about it, it has been a reminder to me often about how many expectations we place on ourselves or believe might be placed on us that we were never meant to take on.

The Lord, like my mom, has been so kind to lean into my life and leadership and lovingly remind me, “I never put that on you.”

Matthew 11:28-30 is such a beautiful invitation from the Savior to come to Him with our tired and with our burdens and discover what a real rest looks like.

We are invited to trade our expectations for His – to learn from Him and find rest for our souls in His way.

He speaks to us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Does this mean we won’t suffer and endure trials? Of course we will- we join in His sufferings. But just as we join in His sufferings, we must also join ourselves to His yoke and His burdens. To do so, we must come to Him and prioritize time in His presence.

Are there places in your life and leadership where you are feeling like you have to “Eat It All”? Do you sense in your soul that the Father is also speaking, “I never put that on you.”?

Today, may we trade our expectations in for a real rest with Jesus, and learn from Him how to carry His yoke and His burden.

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