my kids ask to go to Starbucks on our way home from the gym every. single. time. we go to the gym for a few hours a few times each week on a regular basis, and it never fails, by the time we are buckling our seatbelts to head home, they are already asking about Starbucks. i am red-faced and sweaty from my workout, and from the backseat, right on cue: "can we please go to Starbucks?"
this makes me smile, because it's so us. truthfully, i walk out of the gym and somewhere in my subconscious i want a nonfat vanilla latte something fierce. i accidentally created this habit simply by going to Starbucks on the way home from the gym a couple of times, and now it's become what my kids (and i) have come to expect. my kids and i love going to the gym. we also love going to Starbucks. it's Monday, we go to the gym, we go to Starbucks. it's what we do. we are conditioned. we are happy.
but there are days when we can't go to Starbucks on the way home from the gym, and it isn't the end of the world. because going to Starbucks is just a bonus to an already great start to our day...so it isn't so much an expectation as it is a hope.
i want to be conditioned to hope in all areas of my life. even when i don't know what to expect, or when the past has conditioned me to expect something bad. because the truth is, just like i want my children to expect good things and for them to be happy, God wants His children to expect good things from Him and for us to be happy! God has good things in store for us! so maybe i'm facing uncertainty, i should always hope for the best! or what if last time this happened, it ended badly? still, i should expect good.
because God is good. His mercies are new every day and His promises are still good. we CAN expect and hope for good, whether it's Starbucks after the gym, or eternal life with Christ. God is good and He wants us to live with hope.
"I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord.
"I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you.
I will give you hope for the years to come."
Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
In the morning I pray to you. I wait for you in hope.
The Lord is good to those who put their hope in him.
He is good to those who look to him.
at the end of the day, we thank God for Starbucks and for every good thing. hope turns our prayers into praise, and our praise into thanksgiving, and our thanksgiving into testimony. and i want God to come to expect that of me.