Tag Archives: expectations

God’s Love = Unconditional Love

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 15, 2015

LOVE heart candle flower

God’s Love = Unconditional Love

So many people—that’s fallible people—have conditions riding on their love. “If” I do this, or “if” I am that. “If” you have a good education or “if” you have good connections. “If” he wears the latest fashions or “if” she drives the fanciest car. Unseen things, too. Expectations, and suppositions. Keeping up with the Joneses for love, and trying to get the brass ring on the merry-go-round that stands for love, even splurging on endless lottery tickets to win love.

As Henri Nouwen mentions, “There are endless ‘ifs’ hidden in the world’s love. These ‘ifs’ enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional.” [1]

Ah, Lord. I am pierced to the heart. Do You love me? My fallible, self-conscious heart wants to know. Do You love me? That tentative, frightened, anxious child-inside is hesitant. Do You love me? Somehow, even though You have told me again and again, and over again, I just cannot believe it in my heart. Sometimes, that is. Usually, I can, though.

But there are those times …

Forgive me, Lord Jesus.

I believe. Help my unbelief.


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[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 34.

Today. Not Yesterday. Not Tomorrow.

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

from "Winnie the Pooh," by A.A. Milne picture by Ernest Shepard

from “Winnie the Pooh,” by A.A. Milne
picture by Ernest Shepard

Today. Not Yesterday. Not Tomorrow.

Right now, I freely, honestly acknowledge that I do not know what to do. Admittedly, this was difficult for me to do, when I was younger. Even now, I find twinges of hesitancy (even rebellion) deep within myself. I can’t admit that I don’t know what to do all the time. But for today, I can. This open, honest statement goes a long way toward opening myself up to God.

After a considerable amount of thinking, I need to stay in today, right now. I need to not get lost in yesterday—because I hardly ever can change the outcomes. I need to not get caught up in unreal expectations of tomorrow—because those expectations might easily go up in a puff of smoke. Instead, today is the most important day for me.

I have been faithful in regular prayer and meditation. It’s true, I have only missed two or three days in the past month. That is a terrific track record for me! God knows. Boy, does God know! But I can’t rest on my laurels. Each day is a fresh opportunity for me to get together with God. I mean, He’s always there. Whenever or wherever I decided to show up, God meets with me.

Lord Jesus, You gave me a wonderful example to live by, in Matthew 6:34. You say, “Don’t worry.” And again, “Don’t worry.” Of course, this verse also has some stuff about each day having trouble(s) of its own, among other things. But God strictly warns us (again!) about worry. Don’t do it! Period. Great advice.

Let’s pray. Dear God, Your love and blessing are truly offered to all who come before You. Forgive me for the frequent times I worry and fret. Worry and fret over nothing. Nothing! Thank You for walking at our sides and holding our hands through the daily worry and concern. Help me focus on one day at a time—today! And help us to be the unique, individual persons of God you created each one to be. Amen.