“Behold the dreamer comes; let us slay him and throw him into the pit, and see what becomes of his dreams” (Genesis 37:19).
Do you remember your dreams? The question implies unconscious dreams, diaphanous images that float through your brain while you’re sleeping. But what about conscious dreams? The ones you used to dream about your life, your future? Do you remember those? When you were younger, you dreamed big dreams. Then, responsibilities piled up. It was easy to push those dreams aside. In fact, sometimes a dream even feels selfish compared to other, more pressing needs.
When God gives a dream, it’s not selfish. “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work” (Jeremiah 1:5). You may think: “Why would God choose me? How could I be set apart when I feel like I blend into the wallpaper? Special work? That’s for important people.”
But here’s what I know about God: The dream He wants to give is about the thing you were created to do. He knows your potential because He placed it there with talent, personality traits, strengths. All there, waiting for you to identify and use them.
Dreams are never easy to accomplish. In fact, sometimes they seem downright impossible. And yet, Scripture tells us in Matthew 19:26 that with God, all things are possible. Perhaps here is the greatest reason you stopped dreaming: You let people and percentages, facts and figures determine the probability of achieving your dreams. So, you packed them all away in a box labeled, “Impossible.”
There was a Christian minister. He received prestigious awards, but that was not his dream. He had a Master of Divinity degree, but that was not his dream. Most people of his day doubted that his dream would ever become a reality. He braved constant harassment and violent threats that attempted to stop him. His home was bombed. He was spat upon and mocked. He was punched and kicked. He was stabbed. He was frequently thrown into jail. Through it all, he marched on toward his dream. His resolve did not waver. He was one of the most influential and misunderstood men of all time. He said,
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is faith. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. That day, all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing, “Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
What would happen if we took the “impossible” label off our dreams? What if we declared God’s power to fulfill every dream He plants in our hearts? Wouldn’t it be amazing? Today, let’s throw that “impossible” label in the garbage. And then, like a child, let’s remember to dream again.
“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9 TLB).
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:3 NIV).