Do you have a dream? I hope you do. God has made you and molded you in your life circumstances for certain gifts, longings, desires and passions. Often times, these stir in our hearts and minds for years and months before we take real steps toward living them out.
I’ve had a longing to write and create pictures since I was a little girl. I remember at about age four or five I would trace the pictures from Lois Lenski’s Strawberry Girl and pretend to write in those blank spaces around the pictures. As I grew, I made more of my own pictures and writings. In college, I was encouraged in my writing, but I ignored it in order to be more practical. I’m just now, in my forties, nourishing the writer and artist in me.
The world will tell you that you can do anything…but I’m here to tell you that isn’t always true. I know after my first two paragraphs that may sound really discouraging, but I promise, the goal is to ultimately encourage.
You see, sometimes you can put all of your money, energy or hopes into a goal or passion and it may, from the world’s viewpoint, look like a miserable failure. Sometimes things really don’t turn out the way you thought. I believe we’ve all had that happen to our dreams. Sometimes families don’t turn out the way you envisioned when walked down the isle or when you brought that baby home. Sometimes careers are dashed by things that seem out of your control. Death or illness comes knocking and your dream to live alongside another or live well is taken away. Sometimes, it’s just the smaller dreams that get dashed. Your simple to-do list is deemed inappropriate by 7 am by a sick child.
Yeah, the world tells us we can do anything. But the truth is, sometimes we just can’t. But I’m here to say, that if your hope is in Christ, we’re OK even when that happens.
Over the past week, my husband transformed a corner in our bedroom from being a place that I piled the kids’ outgrown clothes to being my writing nook. The first morning I sat down in this space I nearly cried. For about a decade now I’ve been using a little bookshelf, the end of the couch and an end table as my personal space. All of that time, this space was waiting. I had a new view of my world. I could see people walking in the neighborhood and all of the many squirrels bustling through a system of trees from my yard to the surrounding yards. I could watch how the birds were working and the writer in me felt fed by my space for the first time in what seems like a lifetime ago.
I have a dream to use my writing and creativity to help produce some income for my family. My husband is working several part time jobs while he establishes a ministry. Watching him work so hard, makes me want to help out as much as possible. My main job is homeschooling, but I believe I can put some part time hours in doing something I love.
My business idea may not work. The hubby may have to keep working four jobs. We may even lose more money. So why are my husband and I pursuing what we believe to be our callings?
It’s not because we trust in ourselves…that we can do anything and be successful. It is because we are putting our hope in God until He shows us it is time to do something else.
There have been times and there will be times when I don’t feel blessed. When counting material blessings is hard and doesn’t seem to impact me much. Times when it is hard not to look only at my immediate circumstances. A grateful heart only takes you so far if you’re only thankful for material blessings. As Christians, we must look at our true lasting blessings.
Whether or not our dreams come true, we are blessed.
Why is He whose help is the God of Jacob, the Lord, so blessed?
- He is the maker of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them. He is powerful and creative and all knowing if He created me and my surroundings. He must know how to help me! He is beyond capable!
- He remains faithful forever. How can I trust in anyone’s help who is not faithful?
- He is merciful and compassionate showing mercy on and helping those who are in need (the widow, fatherless, oppressed, hungry, prisoners, blind, bowed down, righteous, alien).
- He reigns forever. I am on the victor’s side!
Whether or not I receive material blessings and all of my dreams come true. I have the above. The faithful, powerful, merciful, compassionate, reigning, maker of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
Whether or not my dreams come true in this life, God is good. I believe He is able. I trust that He will bless what I believe to be God-given desires. But even if He doesn’t allow them to be fruitful (according to my definition of fruitful)…He is good!
I think of the those good old boys, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego…
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” -Daniel 3:16-18
Their situation was way different, but I often think of them when I put myself “out there” in life…
As we, with wisdom, throw ourselves into the furnace of pursuing what we feel God is calling us to, we can say with Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego, “He is able, but even if He doesn’t bless in the way we are hoping, we will still serve, worship and trust Him. He is still good.”
He takes care of the birds in the trees that I watch out my window. And He takes care of you and me.
I have a bird’s eye view of my neighborhood up here in my nook. We need a bird’s eye view of our life. And wow…as I wrote that a huge beautiful pileated woodpecker flew across my view and into my pecan tree! I felt the Lord was really showing me something and then….boom! My son walked in the room playing a loud Lego video that he wanted to share with me. I showed him the woodpecker and thought about what I was writing while I watched the video. Yes. The Lord’s work and listening to him can be interrupted by seemingly unimportant things. What will we do in those times?
Now I see across the alley, on the next street over, a mother walking down the street with her son.
Will we continue to love? Will we pull away in anger?
A bird’s eye view, a heavenly view of life, will enable us to hover high over our circumstances. Perhaps it would allow for us to accept that there are higher purposes going on. God’s plan. His definition of fruitful may not be the world’s definition, or even ours.
Are you taking a God-view of your circumstances today?
Whatever it is…could you offer up a praise to Him who is able, active and powerful?
Could you trust that He is good, whether or not He allows for your hopes and plans to come to fruition?
“Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess His name.” -Hebrews 13:5
And if your losses are too unbearable to praise God through…then cry out to Him. He is merciful and compassionate.
He takes care of the birds in the trees that I watch out my window. And He takes care of you and me too.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” -1 Peter 5:7
Linking up with the ladies at the following inspiring blogs this week: