Have you heard or read such statements as these?
- Dream big! With God you can go as far as you can think or imagine.
- Faith may not make things easy; but it does make them possible.
- When God makes a promise he also makes a provision.
All three statements are valid IF the promises we’ve embraced coincide with God’s plan. If not, God may not be making that dream come true, or turning the unimaginable into possible, or making provision for a particular fulfillment.
That means the perfect wife or husband may not show up, the perfect job may not open up, the perfect family may not be delivered up, and the perfect ministry opportunity (in our view) may not match up with those making the choices.
What do we do when our dreams seem to be fading away like vapor?
We need to remember:
- God is not limited to our timeframe.
We know that, right? Sometimes God requires a waiting period before making our dreams reality. The dream will be fulfilled—but in his time. Scripture is full of examples of those who had to wait; we’ve considered them before: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David—to name a few.
Eventually their dreams came true. Abraham became a father, Jacob was blessed with twelve sons, Joseph became prime minister of Egypt, and David, the king of Israel.
However, we’d be wise to hold onto our dreams with a light grip, as these same four patriarchs demonstrate:
- Abraham saw the birth of only one son of promise, not exactly the nation God foretold.
- The full extent of blessing promised to Jacob was not fulfilled until the birth of Jesus.
- David dreamed of erecting a temple for God, and though he collected an impressive store of materials, the privilege of building went to his son, Solomon.
Perhaps, like these Bible heroes, God has chosen to fulfill our dreams after we’re gone.
I have to decide: Will I balk at such a reality or embrace it?
- Maybe my heart is set on the wrong dream—even though it seems right and worthwhile.
God may desire that I set aside my Plan A and take hold of his Plan B. Oh, but that sounds like settling, doesn’t it? Not at all. God’s plan is never second best. It’s always better (Hebrews 11:39-40)!
Also important to understand: God may have chosen me to be a foundation-builder—part of the preparation process. Someone else will be the presentation. John the Baptist is a perfect example, as he prepared the way for Jesus.
Foundation builders serve as mentors, planners, and seed planters. Again, will I balk at such a reality or embrace it?
- We can be “certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
That includes this truth: When we do not see one promise (or more) being fulfilled, we can be certain other promises are. God is loving and good. Always. He will demonstrate his grace and compassion–no matter what.
Part of God’s goodness prompts him to foster within us: a) a deeper relationship with him (Jeremiah 33:3); b) greater obedience to his all-wise ways (Hebrews 12:7-11, 14), and c) greater spiritual strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Once we begin to realize the benefit of these blessings, other desires will fade in importance.
(Note to self: When my appreciation for spiritual blessings overrides my celebration of material and circumstantial blessings, I’ll know that the maturity James talked about is taking root.)
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I praise you, oh God, for your omnipotent ability to supply, guide, sustain, change, correct, and improve–in your time, for your good purpose. Help me to rely upon your love and wisdom to choose what’s best for me, and your power to live in godly ways for your glory. That is the way to a fulfilling, satisfying life!