Earlier in my ministry, God laid an amazing dream on my heart. It came to me so fast that I had trouble writing it down. It was clearly from God. To make the dream become a reality, it had to be shared with others who had the authority to help it come into existence or set it aside. Dreams are so much easier before others get involved with them, aren’t they? So I took my dream with excitement to others and it was squashed with amazing ease. This beautiful, inspiring gift that God had offered me quickly fell shattered to the floor with big chunks of my heart scattered in its broken pieces. Along with this came a season of doubt and despair. If I was wrong about this dream coming from God then maybe my understanding of even being called by God was wrong. At the lowest point, a point when I found renewed strength, I realized that my dream was most definitely from God and there were other factors at play that I did not yet understand.
In Genesis 37 we see Joseph receiving dreams from God and the impact of those dreams on the people around him. Joseph could have definitely used a better filter and not shared his dreams in a manner that probably approached gloating while wearing that @!#%! multi-colored coat. The teenaged boy had been told all his life that he was special, all his older brothers had heard how special he was to their dad, and these God dreams of older brothers and parents bowing down to Joseph were too much. So they put an end to the dreams for the moment by beating him up and selling him into slavery.
That last thought is kind of key for me. For the moment. Sometimes it isn’t the dream getting shattered, but my understanding of the dream. Sometimes what we think will happen immediately requires a lot longer gestation period. We thought the movie was starting and really it was a teaser trailer. Sometimes it takes a long time for God-given dreams to become reality and they can take lots of breaking, reshaping, twisting, turning moments to get aligned with God’s plan. (Check back on this devotional and these sermons in the coming weeks to hear this play out).
Whatever God is trying to lead you and me towards in our dreams, through our trials, in all dimensions of our lives is going to be a place of increased closeness and deeper relationship with God. Every step along the way is not pleasant and euphoric, but God promises us that He will work through all of them to constantly draw us closer. So don’t give up hope even when you seem to feel that the world has totally turned against you and that your ideal future is being shattered. There is something awaiting each of us that will help us to become exactly who God has created us to be.
Dear Lord, thanks for always guiding us and walking beside us, and lifting us up. Thank You for the capacity to dream and imagine a future filled with hope. Thank You also for Your strength and the encircling arms of community to enable us to endure all that we face in life. We love You and look forward to the next sentence of our story which You will help us write! Amen.
Hang out in hope!