“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6 [NIV]
What is your dream that has not come true yet? Do you think that your dream is too big and feel unsure that you can achieve it? Many of us were dreamers during childhood years. When we were asked what would we want to be later on, we might answered with no doubt, “I want to be famous singer!” “I want to be president!” “I want to have a successful restaurant!” But oftentimes, the reality of life squeezes the dream until we no longer feed it and eventually the dream dies. “Uh, my dream is unrealistic! How can I earn my living with merely singing? I would have a better and stable income if I work as employee in big company. My salary will be guaranteed, I will have fixed working hours, and I will have fun on weekend.”
Many people had a dream, but they do not guard it, nurture it, and they don’t have the determination to achieve it. Life is more than just looking for money. God has planted the seeds of dream inside each of us. He longs to use his children to shine wherever they are, to maximize their potentials, and giving us an abundant life in all aspects.
Surely, there will be many challenges to achieve those dreams. Even parents, our loved ones, could become hindrance to achieve our dreams. But keep on believing that if our dreams come from God which is based on huge passion to bring His kingdom shines on earth, then God himself will enable us and open his way in his time.
On the journey, God may put us in many uncomfortable situations, which require us to do insignificant or small things in regular basis. We may think it is wasting our time because we long to do the big dreams immediately. But God is teaching us at the moment to be faithful.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” –Luke 16:10 [NIV]
Joseph was given a dream that one day he would become the leader of his family.
One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you? But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. -Genesis 37:5-11 [NLT]
Perhaps one of the things can be learned from the story of Joseph is that we need to be careful to whom we are telling our dreams. Some people will disbelieve and discouraging us. They may laugh at our dreams. Part of guarding well our dreams is that we should be selective with people around us. Surround yourself with those who are supportive and encouraging your dreams! And you know the story goes that Joseph’s dream did not happen instantly. Instead, he went on a downward spiral situations where he was being sold by his brothers as slave to Egypt, got a great job at last at Potiphar’s house, but eventually slandered for sexual harassment by Potiphar’s wife and ended on prison. However, the Bible didn’t say Joseph complain in any of these situations. Instead wherever he was, he was always doing what was best for his master.
Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. -Genesis 50:18-21 [NLT]
Joseph did not grow bitterness out of his brothers who sold him as a slave back then. Instead, he knew that even God has purpose behind sufferings which he had endured. God is capable to bring out something good out of evil intentions of men. He did not get revenge against his brothers, instead he repaid their evil deeds with kindness.
If the dream does not happen yet, take it as your preparation phase. Sufferings and hardships develop character. And character is the main thing that will sustain us whenever we have achieved our dreams. As John Wooden says, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”
A dream from God most of the times appears as a dream that is so big and seems impossible to achieve according to our minds. It is because the dream can only be achieved when we rely on God’s strength and not ours. When I was called to be a preacher, I felt, “Can I do it?” And God’s voice speaks so clearly in my heart for the first time (I had never heard God’s voice before then), “Why not?” And that “why not?” changed my life completely. Yes! With God, we can do anything that seems impossible. He will always be with us and with his strength, we can achieve our God’s given dream.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” –Luke 1:37 [NLT]
Our God is he God of “Why not?” –Leticia
Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography