Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When our dreams turn to nightmares

Have you ever wanted something so much it was all you could think about?

I remember back as a child I used to live for summer camp. We would go to camp in the hills of Kentucky every year. I did it for 9 years. There was nothing all that cool about the camp. In fact, still today whenever I smell mold or coast soap I think of the house with bunks where I slept that week.

I would dream of camp. In fact I remember the night before it was time to take that long bus ride to camp how I would plead Jesus to wait to return until after camp was done.
It seems so silly now. Who would want to trade a smelly camp over heaven's amazing beauty?

I can think back to so many prayers that I have prayed through the years. My dreams at the time seemed so important. My wants and even sometimes my needs were not always met the way I prayed. And I'm so glad.

God has been teaching me to pray for his dreams to become my dreams.

Instead of trying to make God bend to give me the dreams that I think would make me happy. Asking him "God what is your dream for me?"

What about when we pray for a dream and God grants it to us? Or at least allows us to have it. What happens when that dream becomes a nightmare?

Maybe it's a job you thought would be your dream job. But after you started it you realized there was elements of this position that you had not factored in. It's become a place you hate to go. You feel in bondage and you're just so tired.

Or a relationship you wanted so much. And yet now that you're in it you wonder if you'll ever make it through the rough patch you seem to be stuck in.

Or When the baby you prayed for grows up and turns his back on you and God.

Maybe its the time you prayed for a material possession, like a house or car and after you got it you lost your job and couldn't make payments on it anymore.

What about dreams that seem noble and God honoring that turn into the deepest pains you will ever encounter?

What happens when the big dreams we had...become our biggest nightmare?

What happens to our faith?

What if we really felt God opening doors to the dream and now we wonder if we heard correctly at all.

We lose faith in our ability to hear from him and we struggle within the recesses of our minds asking the hard questions. We may want to just run away. Or worse yet, end it all.

How does Faith and hope to press forward work in those times? How do we get back up and run again?

God has been impressing on me this truth in recent days.

Sometimes while my eyes see a nightmarish circumstance God is working out something that goes way beyond me and my little small minded dreams.

Joseph was a dreamer and he had big dreams of his brothers bowing down to him. His brothers didn't really like his dreams. In fact he made them so stinkin' mad they wanted to KILL him!

He was the bratty little spoiled brother who was now telling them they would bow to him. They decided to throw him into a pit and then sell him to slave traders.

Did God give Joseph the dream?

He sure did. And yet I wonder how many times Joseph wondered if God had really given it to him. I'm sure it didn't seem all that promising when he spent all those many years away from his family.

Do you think he may have been asking some questions?

Like what's wrong with me?

What did I do?

Did I hear you correctly?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

God may give you a dream...But what will you do with it when it looks harder than you thought.?Or a door seems to slam shut. Or you get thrown into a cell.

What happened the night after Jesus spent praying to his Father about what he was going to be facing within the next few days?

This is what I read.

He was betrayed. Falsely accused. Struck so severely he was beyond recognition. His closest friends said they didn't even know him. And ultimately he was hung on a cross looking down on those he had created begging God to forgive us for not understanding what we were doing.

Not really what you're looking for?

He was without sin. And yet still these unimaginable nightmarish events happened to him.

Why? Because God had a bigger dream that included me and you.

His dream was to bring all of his lost children home. And Jesus was the only vessel he could use to make that happen.

When God births a dream in us, it may not even be something we choose in our natural thinking but a passion that he gave us, we must be careful not to discount the dream just because it seems impossible. Or even when the door closes for a season. God is working behind the scenes and you and I must stay close to hear his voice.

Don't listen to the enemy who says... "See, you can't really trust God.... See how stupid you were to think God could use you? You just need to stay in control. God doesn't have a place for you. Depend on yourself".

The story isn't over.

If Joseph had quit half way through the journey just think of the blessing he would have lost!

If Jesus would have given up because he knew what lay ahead of him think of how much you and I would have lost!

It's not time for us to give up either.

The dream may look different from what we imagined in the beginning.

We may have lessons to learn along the way.

But our stories aren't written.

Today God's word of encouragement is this.......

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

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