The mother of expectation is patience. The French author Simone Weil writes in her notebooks: "Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life." Without patience our expectation degenerates into wishful thinking. Patience comes from the word "patior" which means to suffer. The first thing that Jesus promises is suffering: "I tell you...you will be weeping and wailing...and you will be sorrowful." But he calls these pains birth pains. And so, what seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems to be an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becomes a cornerstone. Jesus changes our history from a random series of sad incidents and accidents into a constant opportunity for a change of heart. To wait patiently therefore means to allow our weeping and wailing to become the purifying preparation by which we are made ready to receive the joy which is promised to us.
from Out of Solitude by Henri J.M. Nouwen