Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Dare to Dream?

I've come to realize that there's a big part of me, part of me that's bigger than I'd like to admit, that is scared to dream anymore.

I guess that after so many prayers that have gone unanswered (or not answered in the way I hoped for), after failed relationships and friendships and other disappointments that life throws my way, my dreams have become cautious. I hate feeling letdown by anyone, but feeling like I've been letdown by God is the harshest blow.

I know that everything happens for a reason, that God can take my failures and disappointments and turn them into good, etc., etc. etc. My head knows that. My heart, on the other hand, has difficulty remembering that sometimes. And so I find myself lately resisting the urge to dream out of fear that I'm wasting time dreaming and desiring things that aren't going to happen. At times I even feel a little selfish to pray for certain dreams or desires. I concentrate on praying for the "right" things, and I begin to lose my heart.

But this morning I discovered a passage that I'd never noticed before, one that struck me as very odd. It's Psalm 20: 4-5: "May he [the LORD] give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests."

What's odd about it, to me anyway, is that it doesn't say, "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed as long as they are lined up with what God has planned for you." Now, maybe that's implied. And I'm not saying that these verses have nothing to do with God's will for us. But these verses give me some reassurance that it's okay to have dreams and desires--after all, these verses are in the Bible for a reason. It's not like they slipped in, unnoticed by God. And they were written by David, the one called "a man after God's own heart."

Any thoughts/wisdom/insight?


Carrie said...

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness”. Not what I think God wants me to ask for or what I think He may give me, but to ask for things that stretch beyond reasonable thought. Sharing our biggest dreams and hopes with God is relying by faith that He will give us the greatest of our desires. Also, God desires us to be so close to Him that we can share our deepest feelings, wants, even our anger and disappointment when it seems our cries for help are met with silence.

There are several examples of people with great faith and a close relationship to God that questioned why He did not answer their prayers. Men like Job and David cried out in anguish when God seemed to turn a deaf ear. The interesting thing about these people is that even when they felt that God was being unfair or arbitrary, they talked to God. They shared those feelings and doubts with Him and continued to seek His blessings. I also notice that God did not strike them down for sharing their disappointment. Maybe keeping an open dialogue with God will give you more insight into why He denies you something and give you more peace in those times.

Don’t shy away from asking God for your biggest, boldest dreams. Jesus knew God’s heart and mind in a way we can not comprehend. He not only knew what was to come but understood that the salvation of all creation was at stake. Yet, in the days before His death, Jesus asked passionately that the cup be allowed to pass from Him. How bold a prayer was that?

The Bible also talks about how God’s people, before their prayers were answered, celebrated as if they had already received God’s blessings. It is not very often that I take joy in my prayers before they come to fruition. Maybe keeping a list of the prayers God has answered in the past will keep you motivated to ask for things and reaffirm that God does answer your prayers.

Rhonda said...

I can identify with you, Lisa. Some times I think "what is the use in dreaming?"; but I think that satan is putting thoughts like that in my mind. That is not how God would want us to think. In fact, I think He wants us to dream BIG and that He wants us to pray about those dreams. What to do when He doesn't answer our prayers/dreams?...I struggle with that. Maybe our BIG dreams aren't big enough. Maybe He has something bigger in mind. Maybe He's waiting for us to dream beyond what we can imagine. I honestly do not know, but I am encouraged by what Carrie said in her reply! She is a wise person!

I know I didn't share much wisdom or insight in to the subject but thanks for sharing! This is something I needed to read and need to think about further!