Where do dreams come from? Some of them are from our own making, other people plant dreams in our hearts. God gives some. Sometimes a dream can be a calling, a deep desire to fulfill a passion that may have been birthed long ago and gradually unfolded as life began to move along. We have a sense of something pulling or drawing us in a direction that we did not expect or ever suppose could ever happen. A most unlikely event that has blossomed into a desire, a passion if you will. Sometimes as result of brokenness or pain, that started long ago, a desire to make a wrong...right. Birthed out of some painful event where God works as only he can, perhaps even before we are even aware of the promise of Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” God is orchestrating…
One of my earliest dreams began the summer of 1964. I saw something that wasn’t right and I thought, “When I grow up, I can make it right.” At 12 years old, I was responsible for my 2-year-old sister since my mom worked. She and I spent the summer with my grandmother because she didn’t want me to have sole responsibility for my sister all summer long. That summer, I saw a little girl about the same age as my sister whom I believed was not being cared for properly and my dream was to grow up one day and be a social worker to teach parents take better care of their children. I have no idea where these words came from, but Social worker was all I knew. It was a strong desire that never went away; although, I did lose sight of it for a while. God fulfilled that dream in 2010 when I graduated with my MA in counseling.
Job 5:7 states, “man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward.” Truth is life hurts, dreams are shattered, and suffering is not an option. So how do we overcome? One desire we all have, although most of us are completely unaware of it. However, if this dream was realized it would make everything else worth it and would result in a life blessed beyond any other blessing we could imagine. What is it you ask? Well, I’m so glad you did. We are created in the image of the one and only God almighty, the manufacturer of everything, who desires to have a deep and abiding relationship with us. Unfortunately, we are not aware of this and if someone told us this, we would likely have doubts it could satisfy as much or more than some other things we think we might like to have. If you have lived for very long, you now realize that somehow life is not what you know God meant it to be. It is in the very pain of broken and unfulfilled dreams that lead us to realize our deep desire for something more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want and strive to get.
These three things are:
- God wants to bless you more than you can imagine. Do you desire to bless your own children? Then how much more does God desire to bless you? Matt 7:11
- The deepest pleasure we are capable of experiencing is a direct encounter with God; we just don’t know that.
- God will use the pain of shattered dreams to wake us up and help us discover our desire for Him to take us deeper into a love relationship with our creator. When there is no place to look but up…the position may be painful but it’s a good place to be.
What happens when life throws an unexpected curve and the next shoe drops shortly after the first one? The first thing we do is attempt to stop the pain, anyway we can, right? I mentioned this in a previous entry, but we are adept at finding ways to do that. Some attempts are respectable, some not so much. We become workaholics, we exercise, shop, drink, do drugs, cut, serve, help others, and stay as busy as we possibly can. The busier I am, the less time I have to think. Go, go, go, just stay busy and I don’t have to face the obvious pain in my heart. When we do this, relationships always suffer, including our relationship with God. However, what suffers most is ourselves. We don’t deal with the grief of a shattered dream until circumstances force us to do something different because we can’t carry the pain any longer. Shattered dreams and broken hearts force us on one path or the other. When we are trusting God for what we think we want, and what we think we deserve, and wonder why we are not getting it, the next step is disillusionment and disappointment with life, with us, with others and ultimately with God. Some even take their own life. Phillip Yancey wrote a book entitled Disappointment with God. In it, he wonders if we are practicing Buddhists. Buddha suggests our misery is desire. Kill desire and we can live a peaceful worry free life. That can’t happen since we are created in God’s image. He desires; therefore, we desire. We have a passionate God; therefore, we are created as passionate people. Passion drives us and satisfies us. It puts the spice in life. “Without vision the people perish.” Prov. 28:19. When deep passions for real purpose and meaning wane, we are ripe for being sucked into a host of lesser pleasures, those the Bible calls counterfeit. This can only work for so long and then the despair moves in like a shroud. Our heart aches and aches some more. It is in this heartache that our crisis of belief forces us to choose God or walk away. Pain forces us to make a decision. We would be wise to turn to the creator of our hearts, since the heart is God’s business. When the dream gets too heavy to carry any longer, it is here that I can give the dream back to him, the Dream-Catcher. I cannot carry it any longer. I can’t fix or change my heart. I can only change my thinking, mostly about God and who he is, leaving the changing of my heart to Him as I place myself in a position to allow the Good Shepherd to care for me. Jesus states, “I am the Good Shepherd.” What does it mean that he cares for us as a Good Shepherd cares for his sheep, particularly when I’m sitting in the rubbish and deep pain of my shattered dreams. And I'm sitting right there. What does it mean to receive care in the midst of a broken heart and a shattered dream?