May All Your Expectations Be Frustrated

I read this little prayer on the podcast last week and Lindsay asked me to post it on the blog. I realize this can be a slap in the face to someone in great pain, but for folks on the other side of it, it is a powerful affirmation of what God does in his people. Only as we lose our agenda to put our lives together the way we think best, can we enjoy Father in the midst of our trials and tragedies…

This ‘blessing’ was prayed over Henri Nouwen by his spiritual mentor:

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

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8 Comments
  1. John Wyatt June 6, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    I love your blog. I see Christ speaking. I wanted to ask about one line in the blessing.
    “May all your desires be withered into nothingness.” What is desire?

  2. John Wyatt June 6, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    I love your blog. I see Christ speaking. I wanted to ask about one line in the blessing.
    “May all your desires be withered into nothingness.” What is desire?

  3. Rod Spain June 13, 2006 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for this. Yes it is painful to read this but this is exactly what is happening in my life right now. I am 55 years old and have had a career in sales with the same company for almost 27 years. This poem tells my story. I also just read an article called, “The Joy of Letting Go” by Wayne. I have been in deep bondage to financial security, my house and possessions but at the same time deeply desiring to walk with Christ. These two desires are at odds with one another. I cannot serve God and mammon but I have been trying to do so. This has brought about great periods of despair, anxiety and depression. Now, after many years of great success, my business is drying up right before my eyes and I cannot seem to do anything to save it. I am not trained in anything else and have no idea what I would do if I just up and quit (retired). I am sure I will not know until I make the decision to leave the dock! Oh how we want to know what to expect out there in the water, away from the dock. Any word of encourgement from Wayne or anyone will be greatly appreciated. I feel that I am in my spiritual aramageddon and everything is hinging on my leaving the dock. Its interesting that Peter was the only one who left the security of the boat and walked out on the water to Jesus. Even though, he later sunk, he still left the boat. The reason Christians are powerless is because they (we,me) will not leave the boat/dock and go to Jesus. Its fear…the great enemy of our faith. I know the only way to deal with my fear is to face it and walk right off the dock into it. Once I get “there”, I am told that I will find it is not even real. It is nothing but a lie that keeps us from Him.
    As I write, I am sensing God is confirming what His will is for me. I still would like to hear from anyone out there. Thanks for reading and hearing my heart.

  4. Rod Spain June 13, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Thank you for this. Yes it is painful to read this but this is exactly what is happening in my life right now. I am 55 years old and have had a career in sales with the same company for almost 27 years. This poem tells my story. I also just read an article called, “The Joy of Letting Go” by Wayne. I have been in deep bondage to financial security, my house and possessions but at the same time deeply desiring to walk with Christ. These two desires are at odds with one another. I cannot serve God and mammon but I have been trying to do so. This has brought about great periods of despair, anxiety and depression. Now, after many years of great success, my business is drying up right before my eyes and I cannot seem to do anything to save it. I am not trained in anything else and have no idea what I would do if I just up and quit (retired). I am sure I will not know until I make the decision to leave the dock! Oh how we want to know what to expect out there in the water, away from the dock. Any word of encourgement from Wayne or anyone will be greatly appreciated. I feel that I am in my spiritual aramageddon and everything is hinging on my leaving the dock. Its interesting that Peter was the only one who left the security of the boat and walked out on the water to Jesus. Even though, he later sunk, he still left the boat. The reason Christians are powerless is because they (we,me) will not leave the boat/dock and go to Jesus. Its fear…the great enemy of our faith. I know the only way to deal with my fear is to face it and walk right off the dock into it. Once I get “there”, I am told that I will find it is not even real. It is nothing but a lie that keeps us from Him.
    As I write, I am sensing God is confirming what His will is for me. I still would like to hear from anyone out there. Thanks for reading and hearing my heart.

  5. Wayne June 13, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    Rod,

    My heart really breaks for you. This is the tough, tough season when something is dying and the future is not certain. But God is a faithful provider, and I have no doubt he will be that for you as well. We recorded a podcast or two recently that might be helpful to you if you haven’t heard them yet. You can find them at http://www.thegodjourney.com. I’m thinking especially of, “When Dreams Die” and “Hell in the Hallway.”

    I think you are hearing him, though. This is a scary season, but this is when we find out who God reall is. I’d be happy to walk beside you as God takes you through it. He’s really good at this. He’s got the God-think down pretty well. You have my prayers and my love. Follow the growing convictions of your heart and you will see some wonderful things…

    In his love,

    Wayne

  6. Wayne June 13, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Rod,

    My heart really breaks for you. This is the tough, tough season when something is dying and the future is not certain. But God is a faithful provider, and I have no doubt he will be that for you as well. We recorded a podcast or two recently that might be helpful to you if you haven’t heard them yet. You can find them at http://www.thegodjourney.com. I’m thinking especially of, “When Dreams Die” and “Hell in the Hallway.”

    I think you are hearing him, though. This is a scary season, but this is when we find out who God reall is. I’d be happy to walk beside you as God takes you through it. He’s really good at this. He’s got the God-think down pretty well. You have my prayers and my love. Follow the growing convictions of your heart and you will see some wonderful things…

    In his love,

    Wayne

  7. ryan February 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Little correction – this is a blessing of Larry Hine given to Brennan Manning.
    Both Nouwen and Manning have been so important to me. Sometimes I mix them up.
    But I’m at a conference right now that Brennan is speaking at and he just gave the blessing.

  8. ryan February 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Little correction – this is a blessing of Larry Hine given to Brennan Manning.
    Both Nouwen and Manning have been so important to me. Sometimes I mix them up.
    But I’m at a conference right now that Brennan is speaking at and he just gave the blessing.

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