Friday, March 8, 2013


The "outhouse"
Inside the "outhouse"

The Lord provided me with a funny object lesson in expectations about a month ago. It was when I went out to the village with my newly hired Khmer physiotherapist to check out the new office space which was also to serve as our accommodations in future visits out to the village. We plan to spend about 4 days every other week out in the village evaluating children, developing treatment plans for them, and training our field staff person who will follow through with implementing the plans during the time that we are not there. I knew that for at least a few months we would not have electricity. I decided I'd better get a handle on what the bathroom situation was going to be as well. Since bathrooms in the village (for those who have them) are often what we in the U.S. would call outhouses, I ventured out behind the office and spotted what seemed to be the most likely option. Peering inside, my suspicions were confirmed. "Oh Lord," I prayed, "I know that You can help me do this," resigning myself to the squatty-potty and the tank of water which I anticipated I would have to use to bathe by the dipper-full as most Cambodians are accustomed to doing. No sooner had I breathed this prayer of somewhat reluctant submission, than the landlord called out in Khmer to tell me that the bathroom was inside. I was seeing a bathroom, but not the one we were going to be using. I went in to check out the new alternative and I just had to laugh at the Lord's tender sense of humor. Had I seen this bathroom first, I have to confess that I may not have been overly impressed, but, when I saw it after seeing what it could have been, man was I grateful!! Yes, expectations are huge in how we respond to situations.

Hurray! An actual shower & sit-down toilet!
That got me thinking about the weight of expectations that I experience in a lot of other areas, including my expectations and hopes about the future (some of which appear to be in conflict with each other), my expectations of my own performance in the tasks ahead, and my perception of other people's expectations of me, whether that be Khmer people, expat co-workers, or supporters back home. I trust that the Lord, in His abundant mercy, will help me to submit all of these expectations to Him and trust His faithful, gentle shepherding of me in all that He's called me to do.