Monday, April 15, 2013

Dream, Dream, Dream

Dreams are a popular topic in today's world. A buzz word. Not literal dreams, per se. More the hopes and somewhere out there plans you have for yourself. Its contemplating the possibility of doing something.

It is considered to be of outmost importance to pursue your dreams. To not let anything or anyone hold you back. Not even yourself.

The subject of dreams is also very common in pop culture...

Lisa Stokke: (Sophie, Mama Mia)
"I have a dream
A song to sing
To help me cope
With anything..."
*Sophie's dreams worked out great for her. She didn't marry the guy. She ends up rowing off into the great big world.... Just as a side note, how many movies does Amanda Sigfried's character actually get married? Les Mis? Not in Dear John, or Mama Mia or Red Riding Hood. Moving on...

Everly Brothers
"Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream"
*Kind of creepy song when you actually listen to the lyrics. Unrequited, obsessed love. A weird daydream thing going on.

I Dreamed a Dream: Les Miserables (Fantine)
"Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed."
*Fantine's dreams worked out really well for her. Not. This song is one of the most depressing scenes of the movie. Like I admitted before, I totally didn't know the storyline. Here I am thinking, because of all the hype about Anne Hathaway playing her character so well, I was sure she must survive this somehow. And then they kill her off in the first 20 minutes or so. Not expecting that.

Did you know that literal dreams have a major role in several Bible stories? Daniel, Abraham, Ezekiel, Jacob, Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, Abimelech.

Probably if those are somewhat cobwebby in your memory, by contrast, the account of Joseph's dreams is rather clear.

Joseph had two dreams. Sheaves bowing down to him. Sun, moon and stars bowing down to him. These dreams were God's message to him, revealing the ultimate plan he had for Joseph's life.

But what about Joseph's other, not literal, dreams. The kind of dreams we have for ourselves. The hopes and dreams, plans and possibilities. Have you ever considered what Joseph's dreams for himself may have included...

Totally speculating here, but maybe he dreamed of becoming a wealthy shepherd like his dad, and grandpa, and great grandpa. Maybe he dreamed of owning a big tent, and being married to a pretty girl, and having lots of strappy youngsters running around him. Maybe he dreamed of the day when God's promises to their family would be fulfilled. Owning the land. Big nation. 

Did you ever consider how God's plan for Joseph was much bigger than the "dreams" he had for himself? Guaranteed. God gave Joseph a glimpse of the plans He had for him in his dreams. This glimpse probably kept him hopeful during the scores of trials he suffered throughout the next 13 years. But, even when Joseph had these dreams, I'm betting he didn't remotely realize the scope of God's plan for him.

Maybe he thought the dreams meant that he would be the future head of their family. Who knows? He never imagined that he be ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. I'm pretty sure that scenario wouldn't have crossed his mind.

Sometimes our dreams have to fail in order for God's dream for us to prevail.

What dreams do you have for yourself? Dreams of a husband? A family? A career? A ministry?

Maybe your dreams for yourself are based on clear leading from God. You heard His voice. But your dream is just.not.happening. You are moving backwards. You are confused. Discouraged. Second guessing yourself. Do you feel like your dream has done a face plant?

Maybe, like Joseph, your own dreams for yourself have to fail. You have to let go of your own interpretation. And then, and only then, can God's dream (plans) for you come about.

Just like with Joseph, when God works out His plan for each of us, it will be inestimably more fantastic than anything we could ever have imagined for ourselves. 

It will be bigger, and more fruitful. It will blow your mind in its scope. It will be lasting.

...Eye hath not seen , nor ear heard , neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him... 1 Corinthians 2:9

Think of Eric Liddell. His plan for himself was to be a missionary to China. God's plan for him was to be an olympic athlete and then to be a missionary. He is remembered more for his testimony as an olympic athlete than for being a missionary. Interesting, huh.

Amy Carmichael's dream for herself was to have blue eyes and be beautiful like her mom. God's plans for her included rescuing thousands of babies condemned to sex slavery in India. It included penning writings that are widely read still today.

Do you have any disappointed dreams? I think we all do. Do you have any dreams you need to relinquish your hold on? How have you seen God's plans/dreams for you far exceed your dreams for yourself?